For more than two years, WhatsApp has been working towards its own payment platform in India, and it looks like these efforts will soon pay off. As Moneycontrol reports, the company plans to launch WhatsApp Pay in cooperation with four financial institutions by the end of May. The service will be based on India’s government-supported digital payment platform UPI (Universal Payment Interface).
The partners in question are ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and the State Bank of India, though the latter will not roll out support in the first phase of the launch. Support for WhatsApp Payments will also only slowly roll out for the other banks to ensure that a sudden surge in transactions won’t overburden their servers, so it could take a few months until everyone has access to Facebook’s new feature.
WhatsApp Pay has been in limited beta testing since early 2018, and after years of working with regulators and banks to ensure safe transactions and responsive server infrastructure, Indian WhatsApp users hopefully won’t have to wait too long until they can use the messenger for payments. That will come in especially handy during the coronavirus pandemic while the use of cash is discouraged.