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Whatsapp Banking-All you need to Know

Whatsapp, a highly popular smartphone messaging service, has announced a limited launch of its app-based money transfer functionality called Whatsapp Payments. The initial launch is restricted to a select group of million users across India and these users can actually even do the Beta testing of the function. The entry of this new player is potentially disruptive for incumbent players who also offer similar services. Also, the new Whatsapp Payments is using the well-known Unified Payments Interface(UPI) as its backbone, which potentially allows users to send and receive payments across all banks in the network. In many ways, Whatsapp Payments, though similar to many earlier entrants in the peer-to-peer money transfer space, offers unique benefits to users.

Features of Whatsapp Payments

The launch of the money transfer feature was first announced by Whatsapp, with a few leading individuals citing regulatory concerns. Subsequently, the National Payments Corporation Of India, the parent body of UPI, issued a statement that allowed a limited launch of beta testing, subject to terms and conditions. The beta launch for starters would only be available to a million users and they would be required to test the latest version of the messenger application to test the functionality. The NPCI also restricted the number of banks participating in the beta test to only four- State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.

NPCI has also released a statement stating all the features that Whatsapp UPI payments must include in order to have a full-scale release in India. Some of these features include - interoperability including the ability to send/receive money using any BHIM UPI ID as well as the capability of reading and generating the Bharat QR within the app. The NPCI has also stressed that the above need to be mandatorily integrated to ensure a full-scale release of the payment features.

The Competitors in the Payment Space

Since the demonetisation exercise, the push to go cashless has been gathering pace and there are already a few players that the Whatsapp UPI Payment will compete with including UPI-based payment apps like BHIM UPI, Google Pay, Phone Pe, Axis Pay and SBI Pay. This list is only illustrative as the UPI framework currently connects a total of 72 banking entities and all of these banks have their own UPI app. PayTM also deserves a special mention here as besides being a wallet it also provides a UPI option and is currently a highly popular peer-to-peer payment solution in India. The unique advantage that Whatsapp Banking has over its competitors is that the app is already installed in a few million user smartphones across India and there is no separate app for integrating the payment feature.

Signing up for the Whatsapp UPI Payments Service

As the new app does not require a specific Whatsapp payment gateway, no separate app is required to access and use the new service. The Payments option appears under the settings menu of any Whatsapp chat provided the app is updated. In this section, the source bank account needs to be added. Under the payments menu, there is an option to add bank accounts, where the user can add details of his bank account including account number, name of the account holder, IFSC code etc. After entering the above information tap on accepting and continue to the next step.

The next step involves the verification of account information entered in the previous step by sending an SMS. This ensures that the number used for Whatsapp is the same as that of your chosen bank account. If the verification by SMS fails, the user will not be able to use the Whatsapp UPI functionality. If the user has more than one bank account linked to the same number, the selected account will show up along with others as a list of pending UPI OTP verification.

Once the verification is completed , the user will see the UPI setup screen that confirms that the account has been linked to the Whatsapp Pay platform. The above steps can be repeated to add multiple bank accounts.

Making a Whatsapp UPI Payment

After adding one or more bank accounts, the users can send money using the chat-based payment functionality. Also, an additional factor to consider is that there is no separate UPI payment gateway and the person receiving the payment also needs to register his/her bank account through the app. When both the sender and the receiver are registered with Whatsapp Pay, the sender can simply send money through a chat window which is similar to sending a message. Another unique feature is that a sender can easily send to multiple receivers through a group chat if all members of the group are registered.

Also Read: All Mobile Banking Services

The users need to complete the following steps to make a UPI Whatsapp payment:

Step 1: The user needs to open a chat window similar to sending a message.

Step 2: The user then needs to click on the Attach/Add (+) button to view the different options. If the account is linked with the payments system, an option named “Payments' ' would also be shown along with the regular options like document, camera, gallery, location and contact.

Step 3: On selecting the “Payments” option, the user gets directed to a page where he/she can enter the amount to be sent to the recipient. The user can also add a message along with the amount.

Step 4: The user needs to authorize the payment by entering the UPI PIN of the bank account from which such an amount is to be sent.

Step 5: When the payment is complete, the message along with the amount sent will show up as a conversation between the sender and the recipient

The user also has an option of getting a transaction log which consists of details of all money sent and received from the app. This option can be accessed from the history option in the settings menu.

FAQS of whatsapp Banking

1. Are there any charges for Whatsapp Banking?

There are no charges for availing any services under Whatsapp Banking.

2. Can you provide details on the Security Features in Whatsapp Banking?

All messages are end-to-end encrypted in Whatsapp Banking. Your account information is secure. Also, you are not required to enter any pin or password inside Whatsapp.

3. What to do if I lose my phone?

In such a case, you should send an email immediately to deactivate your Whatsapp account to

4. If a sender does not have Whatsapp Pay, can he/she still receive money on Whatsapp?

In case a sender is not registered with Whatsapp Pay, he can still receive money by sharing the WhatsApp UPI ID with the sender.

  • The sender will enter the UPI ID in the payment section of any other UPI app such as Google Pay or Phone Pe to send the money.
  • Once the transfer is successful, Whatsapp will inform you of the receipt of the money.

5. Does Whatsapp Pay provide any other services?

Services provided also include loan services, document requirements for a Car loan and also applying for Insurance.

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