WhatsApp Payments is now rolling out in India in beta for select Android smartphones as well as iPhones, bringing yet another digital payment option to the country. The new WhatsApp payments feature is pretty convenient, and potentially has a huge user base in the country because of the app's immense popularity. Moreover, since it is based on UPI, the money will go straight to your bank account, eliminating the need of mobile wallets and other similar financial instruments. Not sure how WhatsApp payments work? Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Like we said earlier, the WhatsApp payments feature is rolling out to select users in India right now. First, make sure you are running the latest version of the app - as of filing this report, that’s v2.18.41 on Android and iPhone v2.18.22. Open any WhatsApp chat and see if you see the new Payments sub-head under Settings. If you do, great, you now have access to WhatsApp’s UPI-based payments feature. If not, you have no other option but to wait.
Here’s how you can add your bank account to WhatsApp and get started with the payments feature:
You can repeat these steps to add multiple bank accounts to WhatsApp. If you have multiple accounts added, you can designate one of them as the primary account (by default the account you added first).
You must remember that the WhatsApp payment feature works only if the recipient has setup their bank account within WhatsApp - send this guide to your friends and family to help them get started! You can also send money to individual group members in a group chat, provided they have enabled the Payment option. Moreover, you cannot pay money to verified business accounts (such as BookMyShow or MakeMyTrip) because the service is only peer-to-peer (i.e. person to person).
Here’s how to send your first (and subsequent) payments via WhatsApp:
As you can see above, the process is quite simple and takes only a few taps to complete. If you want to switch between accounts, you just need to tap on the bank account while sending money and you will see the list of linked accounts to switch between.
WhatsApp will maintain a log of all your transactions - the money you sent and the money you received - using the Payments option under Settings. To check the log, just go to Settings, tap on Payments and select the View History option.
This is WhatsApp's first attempt on the digital payments front, which has been dominated by Paytm in India. The Facebook-owned app has not officially announced this feature yet, and kept it in beta mode so far, meaning only a small segment of its more than 200 million users can access it presently. Google's Tez, Paytm's Inbox, and the numerous UPI services managed by banks themselves have made it pretty easy to transfer money to one another.
Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.