The National Payments Corporation of India has granted permission to popular messaging platform WhatsApp to partner with banks so users can make in-app payments and transfer money using the Unified Payments Interface, The Times of India reported on Tuesday.
The Facebook-owned messaging service had been in talks with banks, including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and the Punjab National Bank. The approval for multi-bank partnership could put its plans for business payments on fast track.
NPCI Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer AP Hota confirmed that WhatsApp had received the go ahead from the organisation. “Players like WhatsApp and Google are very large in size, and thus, partnering with multiple banks makes sense to ensure a smooth payments process,” he said. “Google is now awaiting the Reserve Bank of India’s approval to go live on UPI.”
E-commerce giant Amazon and cab aggregator Uber will also allow customers to make payments using UPI soon, Hota said, though did not specify when WhatsApp payments will go live on UPI.
While mobile app Truecaller had earlier entered into a partnership with ICICI Bank for payments using UPI, this is the first time that the NPCI has allowed a mobile app to enter into multi-bank partnerships.
UPI is an interface that enables account-to-account transfers from a mobile app without the need for any details of the beneficiary’s bank.