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WhatsApp To Soon Allow Users To Make Digital Payments

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As early as next month, WhatsApp could release the update that would allow users to make digital payments which would give a huge boost to the digital payments initiative in India. The most widely used messaging app in India is at various stages of integrating its Unified Payments Interface (UPI)- based payments platform with State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. “The platform is already in beta stage (testing) with one of its partner banks. We expect the product to go live for consumers by the end of February, depending on how the trials work out,” one of the people aware of the developments with the WhatsApp feature.

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A banker too confirmed that WhatsApp is at various stages of system integration with banks. “We are doing security checks to ensure safety of the data,” the banker said. The final step following security checks in the integration process involves testing the product among select users before it can go live. The Facebook-owned messaging company received government approval to integrate with UPI in July, joining other global giants including Google that queued up to roll out their own versions of the instant payments facility that’s directly linked to banks.

WhatsApp
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WhatsApp’s payments feature is highly anticipated because of the huge popularity of the app across diverse populations in India and its anticipated ability to bring a huge segment of the country within the digital payments ecosystem. Bankers, however, say there are various security concerns that need to be addressed before the integration, especially with regard to data of bank customers. The feature has been much awaited and anticipated as it would provide the biggest platform in India to make digital payments as WhatsApp is the most used messaging service in the country and an additional feature like this would only increase its usefulness.

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