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How Does WhatsApp Payment Work?

Updated on March 21, 2022 02:56 pm
how to use whatsapp payment in India

WhatsApp is a secure messaging system used by people all around the world. Did you know that WhatsApp messenger currently has approximately 2 billion monthly active users, outranking Facebook at 1.3 billion and WeChat at 1.2 billion? That is a lot of users!

Recently, WhatsApp released a new feature of their app, allowing users to have a digital wallet which allows for sending and receiving money instantly and securely with no fees. In this article, we will outline how to setup WhatsApp Pay, provide a step-by-step guide to sending and receiving money through the app, and alternatives to transferring money internationally. 

Is WhatsApp Payment Available in India?

Yes, WhatsApp Payment features are only available in India, Brazil, and select users in the US for now. India is actually the fastest-growing digital payment market, which means the competition is fierce. WhatsApp Payment is doing its best to make a name for itself in India and Brazil even though it is entering the market after larger players such as Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe (owned by Walmart), and more.

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After gaining approval from the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) to expand its digital payment platform, also known as WhatsApp Pay, Meta is gearing up to get a piece of this pie.

Let's try to understand the what, the why, and the how of this new UPI-enabled payment app - WhatsApp Pay. 

What Is WhatsApp Payments?

WhatsApp Pay is a Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform that enables bank-to-bank transactions via a smartphone. 

Simply put, it is an in-chat payment feature that allows you to send & receive money from anyone on your contact list. Once you send money to a contact, a UPI ID is activated, users can enter UPI ID and send or receive money, and for people not in your contact list, money can be transferred using a QR code.

WhatsApp had initially launched a payment partnership with ICICI Bank in 2018 to millions of users. In Feb of 2020, WhatsApp Pay received NPCI's approval to launch services in a phased manner. 

Users can see the payment notification above the list of chats in the same mobile app, and it's super easy to use. This is one of the primary reasons why over 1 million people prefer WhatsApp Pay over other UPI-centered applications.

Is WhatsApp Payment Available in the USA?

Yes, for a small number of users. To send money using WhatsApp in the US, you will have to sign up for Novi, a digital wallet owned by Meta that owns Facebook as well. Here is a step-by-step guide to sending money using WhatsApp in the US: 

  • Go to settings 
  • Under Payments, click on the tab of Novi 
  • Sign up or sign in for Novi to start sending money 

Can I Send Money to India From Abroad Through WhatsApp Pay?

WhatsApp is used by millions of people across different countries. However, WhatsApp payment features are only available in India and Brazil for now. 

The best way to send money to India from abroad is through money transfer specialists such as Remitly, Wise, and Xe. 

Today, there are also alternatives to sending money from India to abroad

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What Are the Transaction Limits and Charges on WhatsApp Payments?

With a transaction limit of 100,000, WhatsApp Payments has an advantage over most other UPI apps, which only go up to 50,000. 

Another most prominent facet - the UPI service is free, so you don't have to shed a single dime to conduct transactions.

Is WhatsApp Pay Compatible With Other Applications?

You can use WhatsApp Pay to send money to anyone with their UPI ID enabled, irrespective of which app they are using, ranging from GPay, Paytm to PhonePe. So even if the receiver is not registered for WhatsApp payments, all you need is their BHIM, Google Pay, PhonePe, or UPI ID to transact. 

This will be followed by the same process of phone number and bank account verification. And once both parties have completed this process, you can send/receive payments simply by opening the contact's individual chat and navigating payment through the attachments icon.

Now that you understand all the 'whats' of the platform, let's look at some of the most intriguing features or the 'why' of WhatsApp Pay.

Why Use WhatsApp Pay? 

  • You can easily make payment to anyone from your contact list anytime and from anywhere. An internet connection (mobile/wifi) and a registered bank account number are all you need.
  • It boasts a user-friendly interface that makes transferring funds as simple as sharing a photo/video file on WhatsApp.
  • The receiver will get a notification on the chat window itself once the transfer is complete.
  • It's hassle-free - There's no need to ask the payee for bank account details such as account number or IFSC code.
  • The best part? You don't need to add an extension or install a different application to use this payment feature - it's available in-chat! Yes, it's that straightforward.

How to Use WhatsApp Payment in India

How to Use and Activate WhatsApp Payments

Let's look at how to setup WhatsApp Payment. To use WhatsApp Payment, first and foremost, you need the following:

  • WhatsApp application on your smartphone.
  • A bank account that has enabled WhatsApp banking.
  • You must operate WhatsApp Pay from the same mobile number that is registered with the bank.

To activate the WhatsApp payments service on your smartphone:

  • Click the three vertical dots at the top-right corner of your app.
  • Click on 'Payments'.
  • Then all you'll be required to do is verify your bank details that support the UPI, and you're all set!

Of course, you'll also have to accept the payment terms and privacy policy. But that's just a 'tick' away. To grant permission to send/receive money and verify via SMS. 

Please Note: Only banks supported by WhatsApp UPI will be listed, so select your bank account carefully. 

Currently, only four banks have enabled WhatsApp banking, namely:

  1. State Bank of India (SBI)
  2. Axis Bank
  3. HDFC Bank
  4. ICICI Bank

How to Make a WhatsApp Payment

  • Open the chat of the person you want to send money to.
  • Tap on the 'Attach' pin (it's the same as where you send pictures or contacts) and select payment.
  • Confirm the last six digits of your debit card number the expiration date, and select 'Set-up UPI pin'.
  • Enter the OTP (One Time Password) if it's not pre-filled.
  • Create and enter your UPI PIN. Click 'Set-up UPI PIN' and submit.

After the UPI PIN is set up successfully, tap 'Done', and you're all set to pay or send money via the 'attach' option in individual chats. 

Remember, you may be asked for the UPI PIN every time you want to send money via WhatsApp Pay; it's for your own security. Also, another point to note - money will only be sent to accounts that have the UPI payments service enabled.

How to Receive Money in WhatsApp Payments

  • Once the sender initiates the payment, the beneficiary will receive a notification on their screen, and all they'll need to do is tap on 'Accept Payment.'
  • The receiver will be redirected to the Payments Terms and Policy page. They must tap 'Accept and Continue' to proceed.
  • Then tap 'Verify via SMS.'
  • The screen will show a pop-up of all the bank accounts linked to their WhatsApp mobile number, and they'll need to select the one they want to receive money in. 
  • Then all they tap 'Done'.

In conclusion, WhatsApp is an all-in-one messenger, and payment platform - It's cashless, it's hassle-free, it's secure, and it's user-friendly. Moreover, there's no transaction charge. And it's super easy to use. What's more, it doesn't require inputting a bank account number and IFSC code every single time you want to send money to someone.

However, there is still a long way to go for WhatsApp to support international payments. The best way to send money internationally is through money transfer service providers. Make sure you compare the money transfer options to save on every transfer when you need to send money to India online.

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