WhatsApp is gradually becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Indian market as the messaging app has added QR code support for payments. This is looking more like one of the final pieces of the company’s plans to capture or dominate the Indian market.
QR code support will allow WhatsApp users to carry out monetary transactions within the app. Tech Rader reports that the feature is currently being enabled for users in the Android beta channel, and could be available to all users in that country in the next couple of weeks. If you are a beta tester for the app, you will first have to enable WhatsApp Payments if you have not done so already.
Here is how the new QR code feature works: Install the latest version of WhatsApp beta for Android. After installation, go to the app Settings > Payments > New Payment and select QR code. This process will open a scanner that will search for a compatible QR code. As soon as the QR code is recognized, you can enter the amount you want to send to initiate the payment and authenticate it by using your UPI PIN.
Configuring the WhatsApp Payment feature on your phone in case you haven’t done that already is very easy. To configure the p2p functionality, you need to first verify your phone number via SMS and choose a bank from the list. Once this is done, the option to send payment is soon added and becomes available from the WhatsApp’s main interface. The functionality becomes available in the same area where you can also share file, video, contact and photo.
The feature is built on India’s Unified Payments Interface [UPI], which allows for instant money transfer between various bank accounts in India; one of the largest tech markets in the world. The UPI is a platform that enables exchange or transfer of funds between customers at no charges; and is the same as what other early entrants into the market are using.
With 200 million people using the WhatsApp app in India, adding a p2p functionality to its service already gives it a big edge ahead of others. Though, there are small matters of building partnership with merchants and adding more features to the service; the Facebook subsidiary has a strong case. As a matter of fact, the QR code feature will further help the app make inroad in that country.
Google announced last December that its payment app Tez, will soon cross 12 million active users in India—and that is a significant achievement considering the fact that it was only launched in September.
To make Tez even more competitive, Google also added an option that will connect you with service providers in India. Once connected, you will be able to among others, pay your electricity bills, broadband bills, and many others. You will also be able to retrieve your billing history and pay off your outstanding bills with just a few taps.