WhatsApp has been given the go-ahead by the Indian government to offer payments through its messaging app.
WhatsApp has partnered the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and uses the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to offer the payments feature. The real-time payment system enables transactions with over 160 supported banks.
"We’re excited to join India’s campaign to increase the ease and use of digital payments, which is helping expand financial inclusion in India," the company said.
To send money on WhatsApp in India, it’s necessary to have a bank account and debit card in India. To begin with, WhatsApp has partnered with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.
It features a "strong set of security and privacy principles", Whatsapp said, including requiring users to enter a personal UPI PIN for each payment.
The feature is available in India on the latest version of the iPhone and Android app.