Whatsapp in talks with government to launch payment services in India.

Whatsapp is reported to be in talks with State Bank of India (SBI), the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and other institutions to launch a peer-to- peer payments system that will be powered by government’s aspirational Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

According to a report by The Economic Times, the Facebook-owned messaging app is looking for different ways to integrate the payment system on its platform. “Due to the complexity of the architecture, WhatsApp is in discussions with the State Bank of India, NPCI and few other banks to devise ways to integrate their systems with the bank and with NPCI,” a senior SBI official said to the publication.

In a statement WhatsApp told that “India is an important country for WhatsApp, and we’re understanding how we can contribute more towards the vision of Digital India”. It’s not a direct admission nor a denial, but the new peer-to- peer payment feature would make a lot of sense for

the WhatsApp that claims to have over one billion active users worldwide. On a visit to India in February, which included a meeting with the country’s IT
Minister,WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton admitted that the company was “in the early stages” of looking into how it can incorporate payment services.

That’s also an area of interest, though. WhatsApp said last year it would explore the potential to give “businesses that matter” to its users a presence on its platform. That feature was originally scheduled to ship before the end of 2016, but it is yet to go live, although WhatsApp

is reportedly testing business search features with a handful of selected companies.

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