The team behind WhatsApp have been adding in many features lately. Some of them include UI improvements such as grouping multiple images in chat and background audio recording. Earlier, there were also expectations that the messaging platform would incorporate a payment system.
In regard to this, WhatsApp Beta version 2.17.295 suggests that the app is incorporating UPI-based payments system in to the app itself.
The version of the app is submitted to the Google Play Beta Program. According to WABetaInfo, the feature is still hidden in the app and so it is not able to access it directly. However, the screen for payments is built in to the beta version and so we can expect it to launch soon.
The integration of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) gateway means that payments can be transferred directly to bank account. UPI works on IMPS protocol and is structured on top of Aadhar’s unique identification system.
Competitors in payment space
The move is to counter the rivals, WeChat and Hike, which already have payments in their respective applications. WeChat’s payment system is quite popular in it’s homeland China.
WhatsApp on the other hand, with over 200 million active users in India, is looking forward to bring the same revolution as WeChat had in China. Since demonetization, almost all payment wallets such as PayTM, PayZapp,MobiKwit etc, have gained a lot of users. The challenge for WhatsApp would be to migrate users from all such platforms and also to retain users.
There are also leaks that WhatsApp is also launching some features focused on businesses that use the messaging platform.