No fee will be charged when sending money via WhatsApp, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday (local time) following the nod by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for WhatsApp to go live on UPI in the multi-bank model.
Speaking through a video statement, Zuckerberg said that it will be supported by more than 140 banks.
“Now you can send money to your friends and family through WhatsApp as easily as sending a message. There’s no fee, and it’s supported by more than 140 banks. And because it’s WhatsApp, it’s secure and private too,” he said.
He further said that the payments will be available in 10 Indian regional language versions of WhatsApp. “All you need is a debit card with a bank that supports UPI and you can set it up straight away. You can find it in the latest version of WhatsApp,” he said.
“We’ve been working on this with the National Payments Corporation of India, who oversee everything to make sure it’s secure and reliable. And we’ve built it using India’s Unified Payments Interface, which makes it easy for anyone to instantly accept payments across different apps — and for companies to provide people with great services,” he added.
“When people can access financial tools, they’re more empowered to support themselves and others, or start a business. Long term, we need more innovation that gives people control over their money, and making payments easier is a small step that can really help,” he said while adding that India is the first country to do anything like this.
On November 5, the NPCI had stated that WhatsApp can expand its UPI user base in a graded manner starting with a maximum registered user base of 20 million in UPI.
NPCI was incorporated in 2008 as an umbrella organisation for operating retail payment and settlement systems in India.