The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought about a revolution in our country, when he introduced the concept of Digital India and ensured that people moved away from physical currency to make transactions easier and rein in corruption and black money. Since then, most Indians began using various apps to make even their day-to-day transactions. This caused quite a boom in mobile apps and websites which allowed people to easily make all their purchases as well as pay their bills for essentials and other services. Many apps like PayTm, Google Pay, PhonePe, Amazon Pay and others, began using the UPI option to allow users to make monetary transactions through online applications. Now, a very familiar but new player has joined their ranks! 

WhatsApp, the very popular messaging app from Facebook, has now received approval from the National Payment Corp. of India (NPCI), to enter the digital payments market! Going forward, WhatsApp can allow digital monetary transactions through its WhatsApp Pay feature, with the Unified Payments Infrastructure (UPI) platform. However, the NPCI has capped the transaction volume clocked by any company to 30% of overall payments on the UPI! WhatsApp has obtained approval to begin its Pay feature through the multi-bank model and then expand its UPI user base, gradually. The maximum registered user base at the start has been allowed to be 20 million. However, WhatsApp has already been running its UPI-based payments system - WhatsApp Pay in the Beta testing mode, with 1 million users, since 2018!

A big obstacle for WhatsApp Pay has been the Reserve Bank of India's data localisation norms for all payment providers in India, which applied to WhatsApp also. Currently, WhatsApp is fighting a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) in the Supreme Court. This PIL filed by Communist Party MP - Binoy Viswam, has demanded the complete stopping of WhatsApp's operations and also demanding that RBI and NPCI ensure that all the data collected through the UPI platform is not used or exploited by any participants in any way! Talking about this new feature, Facebook CEO - Mark Zuckerberg has stated that this feature will be very simple and will be supported by 140 banks. Above all, there will be no separate charge to send money through this WhatsApp feature. Zuckerberg has also guaranteed that the entire process would be totally secure and as simple as sending a message.