Rumors were rife that the messaging giant is to launch a UPI-based payments feature since last year.
After a year of speculation, WhatsApp seems to be testing its much-awaited UPI-based payments feature for select WhatsApp beta users on iOS and Android.
The update first spotted by Gizmo Times shows 'Payment' available in the attachment option, along with the other usual options of Documents, Gallery, Audio, Location and Contact.
According to the article, tapping the ‘Payment’ button will take you to linking your UPI account, which might have to be done through the bank applications or other UPI apps (including government-promoted BHIM app).
However, the article states that while the feature is showing the list of banks or the bank which is linked, the account is not being added to Pay.
News reports last month had stated that WhatsApp Payment will be launched this month. Reports also stated that the WhatsApp Payment feature is said to be available on WhatsApp version 2.18.21 for iOS, and version 2.18.41 for Android.
Google Tez, Google’s very own UPI-powered payment feature, is considered to be one of the biggest competitors for WhatsApp Pay.
In a recent interview with YourStory, Google Tez had claimed that it has close to 12 million active users and had processed over 140 million transactions. Further, the company says over 5.25 lakh merchants across the country are already using Tez. (Read full interview with Diana Layfield, Vice President of Product Management at Google, here)
In the near future, Tez is looking to release features like automatic recurring payments. It is also planning to announce Bill Pay, which Google claims to be a more seamless and better way to pay bills than any other solution out there at the moment.
On how crucial Tez is for Google, Diana Layfield, Vice President of Product Management at Google, had told YourStory,
“It is really important for us. We believe it is an incredibly critical part of what we do. And we think that the whole digitisation of the economy is incredibly important. We have a big team working on Tez all around the world. We won’t be able to give a particular number but it's certainly our biggest team.”
Last month, WhatsApp had also launched its standalone business app, WhatsApp Business, globally. The app, at present, has features like business profiles, quick replies to frequently asked questions, and messaging statistics apart from other things.