Indian customers participate in the mobile money transfer trial of WhatsApp

9 February 2018

WhatsApp is conducting a pilot test in India to trial a new functionality enabling users to make payments online and send money to their families or friends in the contact list. No official comment or announcement was made by the mobile app creators, and the reports come from the sources with the knowledge of the matter.

The new money sending feature is based on Indian Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a nationwide electronic payment protocol, facilitating interbank transactions, and is backed by several major banks in the country such as State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. Indian users of WhatsApp enrolled into the pilot program acknowledged that the test went live and the list of supported banks is already displayed in the messenger’s interface.

Last July the government of India granted its approval to WhatsApp for integration of UPI into its messenger’s application, and the launch of the trial ushers in the beginning of a fierce competition with strong rivals such as Tez, backed by Google, and Hike, backed by Tencent. Still, WhatsApp will unlikely experience any difficulties with winning customers as its mobile texting application has over 2000 million users in India. Popularity of the messenger around the world is a good asset bringing it a decisive advantage over other mobile payment ecosystems.

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