Last year, we reported how WhatsApp was testing an in-app payment feature for India. Though, at the time, the feature was expected to debut in December 2017, it now seems to be still in beta, though in a slightly different form.
According to GizmoTimes, WhatsApp is currently beta testing the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) integrated into its own app. This means we may actually see an update soon, allowing us to transfer money from within the messenger.
WhatsApp beta version 2.18.41 seems to be the one showing the UPI interface. The shortcut widget will supposedly replace that of the camera one, under the attachment icon in the text box. The report indicates it’ll show a list of banks that have partnered for the UPI plan, and your linked bank account when that’s been done.
All you’ll have to do is tap the icon under the Attachments menu, and then follow the prompts to link your UPI account. In case you don’t have one already, it’ll guide you through the process of creating a new ID for it. Based on the list of banks displayed in the beta version, it seems Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Airtel Payments Bank, Andhra Bank, and State Bank of India are some of the few lined up.
Facebook was granted permission to integrate UPI into its app service last July, and has been attempting to integrate the feature ever since. On the other hand, it’s been a little slow on the draw. We already have a lot of payment options in the form of Paytm, JioMoney, and even Google Tez. Whether WhatsApp can draw some of those lost users back through the sheer convenience of a single app remains to be seen.