Recently, the Global Head Will Cathcart had made an announcement that WhatsApp Pay is ready to launch in India. The company has set up the data center in India and met all the other rules and regulations laid down by RBI. Since then there is a buzz on the internet that when will the WhatsApp Pay India launch will take place?
WhatsApp has launched its digital payment service in the name of WhatsApp Pay in Feb 2018. Beta users have tested the service last year and find it quite easy to use. The main benefit of using WhatsApp Pay is you don’t need to download an extra application and separate registration.
WhatsApp Pay will work in-app in the existing WhatsApp application. The service was commercially about to launch somewhere in July, August 2018 but RBI has raised the question on the data security and asked WhatsApp to set up a local data center in India. This was the hurdle faced by the tech giant WhatsApp and could not launch its service last year.
WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by Brian Acton and Jan Koum (former employees of Yahoo). Interestingly, at one point they have applied for a job at Facebook but they were rejected and now they are the part of the company.
Why WhatsApp has chosen India for its Payment Service?
As a pilot run in India, the feature was made available to around 1 million users in India. And the test results are quite positive. WhatsApp is having its major user base in India and that’s the main reason why WhatsApp has decided to start its Payment service first in India. India is one of the fastest-growing digital economies after the demonetization took place in the year 2016. WhatsApp currently has over 1.5 billion daily active users and out of that 400 million are from India.
When will the WhatsApp Pay India Launch?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was “actively working to launch WhatsApp Pay in India”. But due to the data security hurdles, it got postponed by a year. Now WhatsApp is hoping to launch its payment service in India before the end of the year 2019.
The necessary arrangement is done by the company to start its payment service in India. The main hurdle was to set up the data center in India which is now being done and audited by the Government of India. WhatsApp has revealed that more than a million users in India have tested its payment service. Meanwhile last year, WhatsApp also has launched its Business App for small and medium enterprises. The app has helped thousands of small enterprises to communicate.
As per the WhatsApp’s Global head Will Cathcart, the Payment service will be launched in India in the year 2019. Eight months have already passed for the year so effectively we have four months left. Looking at the movement and market buzz, the WhatsApp Pay will get launch any time in the near future. We will keep posting updates on the exact date of its India launch. So hang on with us and get the latest updates on the WhatsApp Pay service.
Features of the WhatsApp Pay
Let’s have a quick look at the features provided by WhatsApp Pay during the testing phase.
- You can send receive money from your family and friends using UPI payments
- Another separate app is not required to download
- Your UPI D will be automatically created by the app itself
- Multiple bank account is supported
- Select your bank from the list to activate UPI payment
- Easy and fast payment transfer (just like you chat)
- You can send/ receive money through QR code (scan to pay)
- Widely acceptable and used app
However, there are many shortcomings of WhatsApp Pay which also you need to know before you bang on and make it your primary app for payment transfer.
Shortcomings of WhatsApp Pay
- You cannot pay using Credit/Debit card as it only supports UPI Payments
- You cannot be used as P2B (Person to Business)
- There will be no cash back at the launch (WhatsApp has an existing base of 400 million)
- Refund the amount (in case you need it)
- Not able to track business reports
- You cannot create payment links and collect money
- WhatsApp /Facebook data security has raised many questions in the recent past
- Only your contacts can pay you
- Lacks customer support in case you require
- No international Payment accepted
- The amount that can be transferred is limited to Rs. 5000
What will be the impact on the existing players?
Right now there is three major digital company operating in India. They are PhonePe, PayTm and Google Pay. As per the recent data by BharatPe until March 2019, Google is leading in the digital payment market. WhatsApp has an extra edge of its existing user base of 400 million alone in India. So you can imagine the dent on the existing players in the payment services.
WhatsApp will leverage its existing user base and can disrupt the market very fast. I will not be shocked to see WhatsApp overtaking all the existing players and become the leader in the digital payment industry in India soon.
Which all Banks will support WhatsApp Pay UPI Payment?
Well, ideally all the major banks should support WhatsApp Pay as it will going to be a big thing. During the testing phase, we can activate WhatsApp Pay from the below list of banks.
- Axis Bank
- HDFC Bank Ltd
- ICICI Bank
- State Bank of India
- Aditya Birla Payments Bank
- Airtel Payments Bank
- Allahabad Bank
FAQs about WhatsApp Pay India Launch
Question: Do I need to set my UPI ID in WhatsApp Pay?
Answer: No, you don’t require to set up your UPI ID, it will automatically be created by the app
Question: Does WhatsApp Pay supports multiple bank accounts?
Answer: Yes, you can set more than one bank account and transact from those accounts
Question: Can I send/receive money through QR code?
Answer: Unfortunately, this facility is currently not available in WhatsApp Pay. But in the future updates, there are chances that WhatsApp introduces the same
Question: Can anyone who is not in my contact list receive money from mine?
Answer: No, the person you want to send money has to be in your contact list
Question: Can I send/receive money abroad through WhatsApp Pay?
Answer: No, you cannot send the money outside India through WhatsApp Pay
Question: Can I send money using my debit/credit card?
Answer: No, you cannot send money using debit/credit cards. The app supports only UPI payment option
WhatsApp is the core mobile app and is being widely used in India. With its payment facility, it is going to help the people in doing financial transactions. However, there are few challenges also which WhatsApp needs to work upon to be successful and market leader in the digital payment industry in India. But, I am surely looking for the feature to officially launched in India and will keep a close tab on the updates about WhatsApp Pay India Launch.