Mumbai: Following closely on the heels of Hike’s newly launched in-app payment system, Whatsapp is reportedly collaborating with banks to introduce instant payments via Unified Payment Interface (UPI) within its messaging platform.
Whatsapp is in discussions with State Bank of India (SBI), the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) and a few other institutions to kick-start this system. “Due to the complexity of the architecture, WhatsApp is in discussions with the State Bank of India, NPCI and few other banks to devise ways to integrate their systems with the bank and with NPCI,” a senior SBI official told the Economic Times. He also said the project was still in its conceptualisation stage.
UPI was introduced by the former governor of Reserve Bank of India Raghuram Rajan in 2016. It allows instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform. To facilitate UPI on WhatsApp, banks will need to merge their systems with the Whatsapp app. This will enable the app to identify the recipient accurately and will further facilitate the UPI layer to allow the fund transfer.
“A messenger works in a manner of identifying an address box where the messages travel to instantly. Similarly, UPI instantly settles funds between one account holder and the other,” a senior executive, who manages payments at a private sector bank told the Economic Times.
Banks are however concerned about the safety of data in this instant transfer of funds. A senior executive said security protocols will need to be implemented for this fund transfer on the messaging app. He also hinted that Aadhaar can be used to do the same, but that it will require the enabling of biometric authentication.