WhatsApp's newest feature allows users to send money directly into their friend's bank accounts using UPI. And it may be a serious threat to existing apps such as Paytm and Google Tez
WhatsApp users in India can now send and receive money on the app using UPI (Unified Payments Interface). The feature is rolling out on both Android and iOS and will show up on all devices in a few days. Introduced by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), UPI is a payment platform which sends money directly from the sender’s bank account to the recipient’s account. So a person sending the money doesn’t have to add money to a wallet or use a debit card for payments.
WhatsApp isn’t the first messenger app to integrate UPI. Hike Messenger and Paytm’s Inbox also allow users to send money to their friends instantly.
How does UPI work on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp Payment can be accessed via the Payments option in the Settings page. Tapping on it will open the verification page, where users have to furnish the mobile number linked to their bank account. This is similar to the verification required on Google Tez.
Those who have used UPI before won’t have to link the bank account to the number again. However, they will have to verify with an OTP and create a four-digit UPI PIN, which will be required for every transaction. The bank accounts linked to it will show on the payments page. Users can send money to a friend by opening a chat window, tapping on the paper clip icon followed by the payment button. This will take users to the payment page where they have to enter the amount they want to pay.
How is it different from UPI in Paytm?
The UPI payment in Paytm is available on the homepage and inside Inbox, the messenger service inside the app which allows users to chat with friends. Users need to open a chat window with a friend, then tap on the rupee icon at the bottom of the chat window and then select the UPI payment option. However, to take advantage of this, users have has to integrate their bank account in Bhim UPI section first. UPI can be used in Paytm to pay not just friends but merchants as well. Paytm also has the option to pay by entering the recipient’s Aadhaar number or by generating a QR code. These features are still not available on WhatsApp.
Where does Google Tez stand?
Google Tez is more of a payment app than a messenger. The payment page shows right on the home page and users can pay their Google contacts or pay for movie tickets, DTH recharge, movie, recharge, online stores and electricity bill using their UPI ID or a bank account number with IFSC code. Google Tez also has a unique feature called Cash mode which allows users to pair their smartphones with nearby Tez users using audio commands and send money into their bank accounts.
Payment in WhatsApp is currently limited to friends or contacts on the app and works only between users who have updated and enabled the feature on their app. Google Tez allows users to send money to anyone with a bank account even if they don’t have their app on their smartphone. UPI in Paytm Inbox is similar to WhatsApp and works only if the recipient uses Paytm too, but outside that, Paytm allows users to make UPI payment to anyone.
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