The Facebook-owned instant messaging application puts an end to all reports and launches the WhatsApp Payments feature in India on Sunday. It is noteworthy that India is among the first countries to get the payment option and the feature is rolling out to the users in India, in a phased manner. India Today Tech has learnt that, as of now, the WhatsApp payments feature is available only for Android phone users who have their devices updated to the latest version – for which – version 2.18.46. However, as mentioned, the feature is rolling out in a phased manner and hence, iOS users will also get their hands on the feature and able ot transfer money to friends via WhatsApp very soon.

With the payment option coming to the app, WhatsApp has become more than just a messaging tool. The newly rolled out payments feature lets users transfer money to their WhatsApp contact via the app. By introducing this UPI-based payments feature, the instant messaging application is basically trying to counter the other available wallets in India like – PayTm, Mobikwik, Google Tez, and the rest. This payments feature is UPI-based which will basically allow users to transfer money directly from their bank accounts to their friends account instantly.

WhatsApp has brought about a dedicated option for making payments via the application. On Android, the payment option is available in two places – one under the setting options and another one is available under the attachment icon when you open a particular chat. It is noteworthy that, similar to other mobile wallets like PayTm, WhatsApp Payments doesn’t support payment option for merchants as of now. The users can only make bank to bank money transfer via the new feature.

Let’s take a quick look at how the new WhatsApp Payments feature works:

Things to keep in mind before using WhatsApp Payments:

–Before using the payments feature, the sender and the receiver should ensure that both have their phones running on the latest WhatsApp version.

— Also, the sender and the recipient of the money should have the payments feature available to them.

— Another important factor that the sender should keep in mind is that his/ her WhatsApp number should be same as the number linked to bank account along with UPI option activated.

To Transfer money via WhatsApp:

–First, upgrade your WhatsApp to the latest version. For Android, the payments option – as India Today Tech has learnt is available on version 2.18.46.

— After upgrading the app, users can head on to Settings> Payments to start setting up the Payments option

— User can also directly go to the chatbox of the contact they wish to transfer money and select the payments option by going ot the Attachment icon > Payments.

— On clicking the Payments option, users will be welcomed by a new message saying “Send and receive money securely with UPI”.

— Users can tap on “Accept and Continue” button to start accepting the WhatsApp Payments.

–Before selecting the ban and enter account details, the users will need to accept the Terms and Privacy policy and the payment provider’s terms and privacy policy.

— Users then need to verify their phone numbers via clicking on Verify via SMS option > Click on send button in green. After which WhatsApp will send a verification SMS.

— After configuring the WhatsApp number, users will then need to select their bank from the list of over 70 banks offered by WhatsApp, including all the major banks like ICICI, SBI, HDFC and the rest.

Note: User will need to have UPI option activated on their bank account. If yes, users will need to verify it via SMS, and if no, users can simply create a UPI account with a pin via WhatsApp.

Note: Before making the payments, users should keep in mind that WhatsApp number and bank account number should be the same to transfer money.

–After upgrading to UPI, and linking to phone number, users can simply click on the Payment option > Select the bank account > Enter the amount > Enter UPI Pin > Click on Send. And the money is deducted from your account and credited to your friend’s bank account instantly.

The advantage of WhatsApp payments is that the user can also keep a track of the payment – whether it reached the receiver’s bank account or not, from within the app via Payment history option. Alongside this, WhatsApp also notifies the user as well as the sender about the money transfer.