WhatsApp launched its payment service in India on Friday, the messaging app announced in a blog post. WhatsApp received approval from NPCI on Wednesday night to “roll out” UPI gradually.
WhatsApp, which ranks India as its largest market with more than 400 million users, has been operating a peer-to-peer payment service with limited users for more than two years pending regulatory approvals.
“Payments are now available on 10 regional Indian-language versions of WhatsApp,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, in a video statement.
WhatsApp has partnered with five Indian banks, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.
WhatsApp will initially expand the service with a maximum of 20 million users, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced on Thursday.
“We are very excited to participate in India’s campaign to improve the usability and use of digital payments, which is helping to expand financial inclusion in India,” WhatsApp said on the blog.
UPI processed more than 2.07 billion transactions in October, up from 1.8 billion the previous month, according to NPCI.