Home / Money / Personal Finance /  WhatsApp Pay: Five things to know

After years of facing legal hurdles, WhatsApp finally made an entry into the payment space last night. It has been allowed to initially offer the service to 20 million customers out of its approximately 400 million user base. Here are a few things to keep in mind while using WhatsApp for payments:

Works on UPI: WhatsApp works on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the same system that Google Pay, PhonePe, BHIM and various apps of banks use. So you do not need to hold any money in a WhatsApp ‘wallet’. The money is held in your bank account and the platform will simply help you transfer it to other people and vice versa. Whatsapp will create a fresh UPI ID when you register for payments. You can locate this ID by going to the ‘payments’ section of the app.

Registration: You will need to have a bank account and phone number linked to the account to enable payments on WhatsApp. Payments can be made by clicking on the ‘attachments’ icon at the bottom of the screen that you would normally use to send photos, videos etc. WhatsApp will direct you to register first and ask for permission to make and use phone calls and read messages in order to complete the registration. In order to actually make a payment, you also need to set a UPI passcode. If you already have a UPI passcode with an existing UPI app then you can use the same code.

Use with other payments apps: You can use WhatsAapp payments to send money to anyone who has UPI enabled, even if it is through another app such as BHIM, Google Pay or PhonePe. WhatsApp gives you the option of ‘enter UPI ID’ if the recipient is not registered for Whatsapp payments. You can then enter their BHIM, Google Pay, PhonePe or other UPI ID to transact. Alternatively, they can complete the registration process on whatsapp to begin transacting. This will involve the same process of phone number and bank account verification. Once both parties have completed the process, you can send and receive payments simply by clicking on the contact and then navigating to payments through the attachments icon.

Indian numbers only: WhatsApp pay can only be used for Indian numbers linked to Indian bank accounts. People who have WhatsApp on their international numbers cannot use them.

Transaction limit and charges: The transaction limit for 1 lakh for UPI also applies to Whatsapp. UPI is a free service and you will not be charged for transactions on it. Some UPI apps allow you to send money to people by simply entering their bank account number and IFSC code. This feature has not yet been enabled on Whatsapp.

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