Whatsapp has its largest consumer base in India with over 200 million users. No doubt this is the most favorite and preferred messaging service used by the Indian population. Whatsapp is slated to launch a person-to-person payment service available directly via the mobile application. Currently, Whatsapp is testing this feature internally within their employees and a few private beta testers.
A couple of months back when Whatsapp co-founder Brian Action had met our country’s IT minister and gave a statement saying” in the early stages” of looking into how it can incorporate payment services.
Below is the list of top applications used by the Indian masses on both Android & iOS platforms combined.
The Expected Feature
- According to various sources, this payment sending feature is expected to be integrated directly into the chat window which will give the ability to send /receive payments from the chat window only, just like the current feature to send/share a contact or a location.
- A Rupee symbol will be available along with the buttons to share location, contact etc. (available under Add Attachment icon)
- User who wishes to send money, upon tapping the Rupee symbol will be asked to enter the amount which needs to be sent (to that particular contact) and a PIN (Personal Identification Number) before tapping the send button
- Whereas a user who wishes to receive money via Whatsapp will receive a notification (of the money sent to you). The receiver will have the option to “Accept” or “Reject” the received amount of money.
Who all are on Board and who have implemented it previously
- The company is in the talks with the government to add support for UPI which is a new payment system by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). This payment system is open to app developers and 3rd party players to be integrated for person-to-person payment transfer.
- Ther are reports that Whatsapp has partnered with some of India’s biggest Banks like ICICI, HDFC etc.
- Hike Messenger too has started with UPI based payments in partnership with YES Bank. It has been implemented via a wallet license from RBI.
- Trucaller has also entered this domain by recently implementing its pay service called TrueCaller Pay in India. It is in collaboration with ICICI Bank to allow its users to send & receive payments.
- WeChat has also made money transfer provision available to its users in China (long back)
- In September, Google launched “Tez”, a free to use mobile wallet application in India that will let users link up their phones to their bank accounts to pay for goods securely in physical stores and online, and for person-to-person money transfers with a new twist: Audio QR, which uses ultrasonic sounds to let you exchange money, bypassing any need for NFC. They even provide additional money to be earned in the wallet on every transaction.
My Take on this soon to launch feature
- To be honest, I use Paytm because of the ease of use and payment. Since Paytm was the first ever wallet and payment transfer startups in India which gained popularity because of its fast sending/receiving money mechanism and local shops equipped to accept payment via a simple QR code scanning mechanism. So this is the app which has definitely found a dedicated storage space on my mobile phone.
- The others like Mobikwik, Tez etc, I have not used much because I do not intend to keep different apps providing same usage mechanism (even though the offers from them are tempting)
- With Whatsapp implementing payment feature within the chat application (and not via a different application/service altogether), I am sure it will be accepted willingly by a mass population because of the dedicated user base and default chat app perspective.
- Imagine you create a Friends hangout group for a weekend party and one of your friend makes the entire bill payment, the same friend later (in the same Whatsapp group) requests money and others can seamlessly send it there on the group itself. A simple process done in few seconds.
Now we will have to wait and watch when this feature gets officially implemented by Whatsapp. Considering the fresh rumors which keep on popping over the internet every now & then, it seems its just around the corner…