WhatsApp Pay to go live in 10 regional languages after NCPI approval

WhatsApp pay is supported by over 140 banks and available in 10 regional languages

WhatsApp Pay to go live in 10 regional languages after NCPI approval

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has finally given the nod to WhatsApp to launch its transaction services WhatsApp Pay on United Payments Interface (UPI). The approval was granted on November 05, 2020, after months of regulatory hurdles and legal tussle at the Supreme Court.

What was the issue with the delay in WhatsApp Pay approval?

WhatsApp Pay has been operating in beta mode since February 2018, with a service restriction limited to one million users. However, the RBI and antitrust body Competition Commission of India that had concerns pertaining to probable unlawful bundling of services and non-compliance with data localisation rules as WhatsApp was storing some payments data outside India.

The service provider has since submitted its revised data localisation compliance report audited by Deloitte earlier this year and was approved by the RBI in June.

Related: Everything you need to know about Google Pay

What will change with the WhatsApp Pay roll out?

Even with the approval from NCPI, the number of users who can avail of the payment feature on the WhatsApp platform will be restricted to 20 million in the first phase, with the service being rolled out in a ‘graded manner’. 

The total volume of transactions will be capped 30% of the total volume on the UPI network. This rule will be applicable from January 01, 2021, and will be calculated basis the total volume of transactions across UPI in the preceding three months.

This rule applies not just to WhatsApp but all third party payment apps Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm among others. Existing players on UPI will have time till January 2023 to get their transaction volumes under 30% of total UPI payments. Google Pay and PhonePe are currently market leaders with nearly 40% of the UPI market share for each.

This rule has been enforced so that no single player has a monopoly and “to address the risks and protect the UPI ecosystem as it further scales up”, as per an NCPI circular uploaded on its website.

Related: How Unified Payment Interface (UPI) can change the way you bank 

What are the service features of WhatsApp Pay?

WhatsApp Pay will be available on the latest version of Android and iOS platforms.  There are no transaction costs and payment feature is available in 10 Indian regional languages and supported by over 140 banks. 

Sending money through WhatsApp will be as easy as sending a message, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. See how digital payment methods are changing the face of the Indian economy 


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