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WhatsApp does P2P payments in India!

TechCrunch reported WhatsApp has launched person-to-person payments into beta in India, and if you’re looking for a bit of a workflow, a pretty good article appears in Indian Express: WhatsApp Payments starts rolling out on Android, iOS: How to get, send and receive money.

In China, everyone uses WeChat Pay. And while I see lots of Alipay banners around (even in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand), I feel WeChat Pay is a lot more popular (I say this completely anecdotally, without pointing to any evidence whatsoever – and data suggests otherwise possibly, so maybe its just the circle I interact with).

I don’t know much about the payments space in India, but I can only think WhatsApp launching payment services makes total sense there:

  • WSJ: The Internet Is Filling Up Because Indians Are Sending Millions of ‘Good Morning!’ Texts (paywall) – so they have engaged users that send “good morning” greetings daily. The userbase? 200 million monthly active users!
  • there is a Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in India, and a whole number of banks support it. “UPI works by checking the mobile number with which your bank account is linked. ”
  • These transfers are instant, bank account to bank account.

It sounds really simple to use. Just chat, tap the + icon, and start using WhatsApp Payments.

Excited to see what happens here, and its certain the payments landscape is changing in India!

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