Facebook-owned WhatsApp has finally received the regulatory approval to start operating its payment services in a 'graded manner' in India.
After reportedly being stuck in beta mode for over two-and-a-half-years, 'WhatsApp Pay' is all set to launch its multibank Unified Payments Interface (UPI) which can be expanded to a maximum of 20 million users in its initial stage.
The move comes after the National Payments Corporation of India, in August, had informed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that WhatsApp had met data localisation requirements.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is 'excited' that WhatsApp has been approved to launch payments across India and thanked all the stakeholders, reported Economic Times.
"Now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp as easily as sending a message. There's no fee, and it's supported by more than 140 banks. And because it's WhatsApp, it's secure and private too," Zuckerberg said in a video.
Although India's digital payments market has been dominated by key players such as domestic pioneer Paytm, Phone Pe, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and dozens of other startups.
Yet, owing to its enormous user base of more than 400 million, WhatsApp has the potential to compete with the leaders and reshape digital payments in India.
Meanwhile, the NPCI on November 5, announced that the third-party app's transaction volume in UPI will be capped at 30 percent.
The capping regulation will be effective from January 1, 2021, and will be calculated on the basis of the total volume of transactions processed in UPI during the preceding three months, according to Moneycontrol.
The messaging platform allows one to send money only to those contacts that have registered for WhatsApp Payments.