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.
How to get WhatsApp Payments right now
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.
How to add bank accounts for WhatsApp Payments
Here’s how you can add your bank account to WhatsApp and get started with the payments feature:
- Go to Settings -> Payments inside WhatsApp.
- In the Bank Accounts sub-head, select the Add New Account option.
- Tap Accept and Continue if you agree with the terms.
- Tap the Verify via SMS and follow the prompts to send an SMS to start the linking process.
- On the next screen, select the bank whose account you want to add.
- If you have an account (or multiple accounts) linked with the number that you just sent the SMS from, you will be presented with your account (or accounts) from that bank.
- If everything goes smoothly, you will see the UPI Setup Complete screen.
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).
How to send money via WhatsApp Payments
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:
- Open the chat of the WhatsApp contact to whom you want to send money.
- On Android, tap the Attach button. If you are on iPhone, select the Plus button.
- To send money, just tap on Payment, and enter the amount you want to send. You can also add a note to the message if you want.
- To authorise the payment, just enter the UPI PIN of the bank account from which you are trying to send money.
- Once the money is sent, the amount (and the text note, if any) will show as a message as part of the conversation.
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.