WhatsApp began widespread rollout of its payment service in India after multiple regulatory challenges, with backing from the country’s largest banks.
In a blog, the Facebook-owned messaging service said the service will from today (November 6) enable Indians to exchange cash from distance without having to go to a local bank or meet in person.
“We’re excited to join India’s campaign to increase the ease and use of digital payments, which is helping expand financial inclusion in India”, the company said.
The company said it will work with India’s leading banks to support the feature such as: ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank.
The payment feature on the messaging service was designed in partnership with National Payments Corporation of India, using the Unified Payment Interface, a payment system with support from 160 banks globally.
WhatsApp users looking to utilise the feature have to own a bank account and debit card in India. The company added it hopes the feature will address key challenges and increase rural citizens in participating in the digital economy and bring financial services to those who have never had access before.
The feature is available for Android and iOS devices.
The payment service saw multiple delays due to regulatory hurdles after being unveiled in 2018, earlier this year the Competition Commission of India investigating whether the company was abusing its market dominance, after gaining clearance from other authorities.