25 June 2020
It has been a long time since we started to hear rumors about WhatsApp's plans to enter the mobile business market. WhatsApp Pay was said to be under beta testing with a wider release slated for 2019-end. Now, it is time for a fresh report coming from Moneycontrol that mentions a new possible release date.
The report claims that WhatsApp Pay is all set to become available in India by the end of May i.e. this month. It will be a UPI-based mobile payment solution that will work similarly to other options like Google Pay, Amazon Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm. It is further mentioned that WhatsApp Pay will arrive with support for HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, and ICICI Bank.
The team was also working with State Bank of Inda (SBI), the biggest bank in the country, but it will not be a part of the first phase of the release. Additionally, the integration with ICICI Bank is already said to be underway through beta testing. The reason behind tying up with multiple banks is to ensure high success rates and reduced delays in clearing transactions.
A WhatsApp spokesperson told the publication,
"We are continuing to work with the government so that we can provide access to payments on WhatsApp to all of our users. Payments on WhatsApp will help accelerate digital payments and this is particularly important during COVID as it is a safer way to transact for our 400 million users in India."
As for SBI integration delay, here is the response:
"Currently, both SBI and Whtsapp Pay are working closely through the integration testing phase. We are given to understand that there are some outstanding observations of CERT-In Audit report submitted by WhatsApp Pay for which they seem to have sought time till 31st May 2020 to comply with fully."
As of now, Google Pay and Paytm are two of the biggest mobile payment players in the Indian market. WhatsApp Pay will be competing with these giants from the first day of the release but with over 400 million users on the instant messenger, it will surely have a good headstart.