WhatsApp Gets NPCI's Approval For UPI Payments Through Multi Bank Partnerships

Google and apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook will have a pervasive presence in India.

While it will be a tough battle for Google against WhatsApp and government's own BHIM app, end users will benefit from a wide range of options. Google announced Android Pay in March 2015. As per Hota, "Since about 60% of these cabs drivers still get paid in cash by customers, UPI payments will help Uber's drivers make their payments to Uber using UPI". In the next phase, it will have a wallet integrated into the Uber app. Ola, Uber's local rival, has already integrated UPI into Ola Money, its mobile wallet to pay drivers. The Reserve Bank of India has to look into it. Facebook and WhatsApp are in preliminary talks as well.

The NPCI gave WhatsApp a green signal to enter partnerships with multiple banks which will allow users of the instant messaging platform to pay and transfer money using Unified Payments Interface (UPI). He had said, "Some of the banks instead of applying, have asked their third party service providers to develop the app and make their bank as the acquiring bank".

"We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people to pay with their mobile devices, such as Android Pay in some countries, and looking to expand those capabilities to the next billion users", a Google spokesperson told Mint. He added that Amazon was currentl testing for the same, while Uber is still conducting the process. This year, "we are aiming to contribute about 11 billion digital transactions", he said.

Amazon India received a nod from RBI to launch its digital payments service Amazon Pay in India. Reports have long speculated that Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been developing its own UPI payment system.

Hota in the press conference also confirmed Amazon and Uber will soon accept UPI payments. From Reliance Retail stores to universities, UPI payments are being promoted extensively. So far, private players have been partnering with single banks to offer UPI payments. For all these tech giants, for getting the next millions and billions on their platform, India plays a major part.

Confirming the approval extended to Whatsapp for UPI payments, NPCI's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer A P Hota is reported to have said, "We have permitted multi-bank partnership as Whatsapp did not want all transactions routed via one bank when payment loads are high. They are now talking actively to leading banks now", AP Hota, MD and CEO at NPCI said.

Vanessa Coleman

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