WhatsApp's Payment feature based on United Payments Interface (UPI), has gone live for some users in the beta version of the app on Google Play Store it was reported earlier this week.
Much like the way WhatsApp rolled out the voice calling feature to users, the payment feature can also be distributed by people who already have the invitation. This works in the favour of the messaging application as transaction between different digital wallets is still not an option.
According to screenshots posted to Twitter and elsewhere, including this post from the blog iPhoneHacks, those who have gained access to the new functionality will see a payments feature appear in their WhatsApp Settings menu.
The UPI-based payment feature has been spotted in WhatsApp beta version 2.18.41 for Android and 2.18.21 for iOS. Now to send money to your contact, tap the attachment button, a grid will open containing gallery, send a contact, share location and Payment options etc. Selecting the payments option takes the user to a disclaimer followed by list of banks.
Moreover, the WhatsApp payments feature seems to be coming exclusively to India. Only a few beta testers are using this service now. The feature is now in beta, according to sources familiar with the company's plans, but hasn't been publicly announced because it's not widely available at this time.
The potential for WhatsApp to dominate Indian P2P payments is strong, given that millions of people have come online in the region thanks to lower-cost data plans and cheap smartphones. WhatsApp has launched this service both for Android and iOS. The feature was also on an Android beta version back in August a year ago.
WhatsApp is also planning to launch a sticker packs on its app, as seen in the Facebook messenger application.