#PayTech / WhatsApp cleared to launch payments service in India

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has given WhatsApp approval to go live on the country’s United Payments Interface (UPI). WhatsApp can expand its UPI userbase gradually, starting with 20 million users.

The company has hundreds of millions of users in India but is facing a crowded payments market with stiff competition from Google Pay, Walmart’s PhonePe and local outfit Paytm.

WhatsApp has teamed with five Indian financial institutions – ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank – to take the service nationwide.

[The company says:] "In the long run, we believe the combination of WhatsApp and UPI’s unique architecture can help local organizations address some of the key challenges of our time, including increasing rural participation in the digital economy and delivering financial services to those who have never had access before."