When it comes to making payments online, WhatsApp is not the first destination of many, and most go for PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, and the like. Nonetheless, WhatsApp does have support for digital payments, and now, it has got the green signal to expand its payments service to its massive multi-million userbase in India.
That’s right, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has allowed Meta-owned WhatsApp to add an additional 60 million users for its payments through UPI (United Payments Interface) service. This takes the user cap of WhatsApp Pay users from 40 million to 100 million.
WhatsApp had wanted that all its users in the world’s second-largest internet market could avail the service to make digital payments using UPI payments. That did not happen, however, but having an increased user cap is as good a consolation prize as any.
And if WhatsApp Pay takes off, well, it would send waves across the industry as its competitors would have a hard time competing against WhatsApp’s ginormous user base of nearly 400 million monthly active users.
This move by the NPCI to increase the user cap comes after it had allowed the same last November – back then, the NPCI had allowed WhatsApp Pay to double its user base from the previous limit of 20 million – and two years after it allowed WhatsApp to roll out the payments service. It also mandated that no single player can process more than 30% of the total transaction volumes of UPI during a three-month period, and existing players such as PhonePe and Google Pay were given time until the end of 2022 to comply with the order.
For a short recap, WhatsApp Pay lets you pay your contacts on WhatsApp using UPI (which has rapidly gained traction since its debut in 2016). The company has, of course, been pushing for more and more users to use it as their go-to method of conducting digital payments, but it has fallen behind in the race despite the immense popularity of WhatsApp in India.
However, it is not out of the game as the UPI market is likely to grow with time, especially as Tata Digital entered the arena at the beginning of this month.