Thanks to a government-backed platform called UPI (Unified Payment Interface), developers are able to more easily integrate digital payments for India into their apps. Google's Tez uses UPI for bill payments, and social app Truecaller added the functionality in a recent update. The country's most used messaging app shouldn't be too far behind as Facebook-owned WhatsApp could be ready to offer a payment solution based on UPI as early as next month.
According to a report by ETtech, the service is currently being tested in conjunction with one of its partner banks. Apparently, there are several already signed up to support payments on WhatsApp, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and Axis Bank. If all goes to plan digital payments could be rolled out to users before the end of February, although there are tons of things that can go wrong with this type of integration. Data security will be of utmost importance to the banks, so don't be surprised if they take some extra time to get it right.
With more than 200 million monthly active users in India, WhatsApp has the reach to bring mobile payments to various new audiences. UPI has seen strong adoption since its launch last year, and the addition of WhatsApp will strengthen its position as the country's leading mobile payments platform.