India’s most popular instant messaging application WhatsApp is all set to launch its digital payment service in India. This service is expected to be launched in India as early as next month. According to a report by Economic Times, WhatsApp is currently in the process of integrating its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with the platforms of various banks including HDFC, SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, etc.
Sources reveal that the payments system is currently in the beta stage, and it is expected to get launched by the end of next month. The company is also in the process of ensuring security checks for the platform. Once the security checks and initial tests are over, the final product will be provided to a select group of users for testing before the official launch.
The primary concern associated with providing a service of this nature is the protection of valuable data. This requires multiple levels of encryption and high level security checks. With this system, WhatsApp aims to provide digital payment service as easy as sending a text message. The final levels of security checks and integration will focus mainly on the security aspects of the system.
Though there are multiple service providers already in the market, WhatsApp’s entry could bring a significant change to the digital payments market. Since WhatsApp is already widely used by the Indian public, this additional feature could have a lot of takers compared to other similar apps.
India already has plenty of digital payment service providers in the market. Paytm is the biggest of them till date with a huge market share. Other services providers such as Google’s Tez, PhonePe, and government-backed BHIM are also gaining momentum in India.
While Paytm has more than 100 million downloads, WhatsApp’s instant messaging application has an active user base of more than 200 million in India. The government is actively promoting digital wallets in a bid to digitise all payments across the country. It is worth noting that the number of digital transactions crossed 1 billion in December 2017. With the steady increase in smartphone penetration, this number is expected to grow even further in the upcoming months.