WhatsApp, a popular messaging application owned by the social media giant, Facebook, is in talks with the State Bank of India and other institutions to facilitate transfer of funds between bank accounts using mobile phone.
The messaging app has also approached National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to integrate transfer of funds via United Payments Interface (UPI) on the application for its users.
Whether the feature will be integrated as an added option to the app or introduced through a payments gateway is not known yet.
The Economic Times quotes a senior SBI official saying,
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
Earlier, Hike Messenger, too, had launched a UPI-based payments facility on its app in association with Yes Bank after attaining a license from the Reserve Bank of India for operating an e-wallet. Given the demonetization of a large part of the Indian currency in 2016, a number of e-wallets, and fund transfer mechanisms have been launched in the country.
In such a situation, WhatsApp, the application that has a huge market in India, with over 200 million people using it, launching the facility of instant funds transfer by use of the mobile app could be a great move.
Banks, however, are concerned about the security of data in the process involved. Therefore, if a digital payment option is added to WhatsApp, security protocols will be followed as per requirement and the banks will have to integrate their systems with the application.
On April 5, 2017, we had reported that WhatsApp was planning to venture into digital payments and was looking for a digital transactions expert as advertised on its website. Now, as the reports of the company being in talks with financial institutions of India have emerged, it is most likely that the users of the application will soon be able to transfer funds with just a few clicks.