NPCI approves 60 million more UPI users on WhatsApp

In what comes as a shot in the arm for Meta-owned WhatsApp, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has approved an additional 60 million users on UPI for WhatsApp. With this approval, WhatsApp will be able to expand the service to its 100 million users, intensifying competition in the digital payments space in India.

The move comes months after it approved increasing the user cap for WhatsApp’s payment service from the current 20 million to 40 million.

While WhatsApp has been pushing for an increase in user cap, NPCI wanted to increase this in a phased manner so that the payment system is not overwhelmed.

NPCI, which operates the country’s retail payment and settlement systems, had allowed WhatsApp to start payment services in November 2020 with a cap of 20 million users. The Meta-owned company was expected to disrupt the payments space with its large user base in India, but it had not taken off in a big way.

Now, WhatsApp has decided to ramp up efforts to expand the payment service and wants more users.

WhatsApp’s messenger service has over 400 million users in India and lifting the limit for the payment service in one go may lead to extremely high transaction volumes on NPCI’s platform.

NPCI is considering gradually increasing the cap because it cannot handle the large volume that can be generated by lifting the cap completely. WhatsApp has been expanding its payment services in India since September last year. Manesh Mahatme, director of WhatsApp India Payments, said it is gradually expanding its service in partnership with NPCI. Mahatome said he will focus on accelerating marketing initiatives to raise awareness of the payment capabilities of instant messaging apps. As part of this promotion, the company has made the payment service more visible by placing the chat composer rupee icon between the attachment and the camera icon. This allowed us to scan the QR code using the camera icon on the WhatsApp home screen and make payments at 20 million stores in India. With the steady increase in transactions on the platform, new efforts to improve payment behavior appear to be paying off. However, WhatsApp’s share of India’s monthly payments is still small compared to PhonePe and Google Pay. Separately, NPCI has reduced the amount of United Payment Interface-based transactions for third-party payment apps such as Phone Pe, Google Pay and WhatsApp to 30% of the total amount of transactions processed on a rolling basis in the last three months. Limited to. Operators must comply with this standard by January 2023. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has seen significant growth over the last two years, surpassing $ 1 trillion in transaction value in 202122, a major milestone in payment systems that further facilitated digital adoption of payments and financial services. Did.