WhatsApp has unveiled a new in-chat payment feature for businesses in India. The new feature is aimed at enhancing the user experience by offering a variety of payment options directly within the chat interface.
Diverse Payment Options with Major Partners
The Meta-owned platform has collaborated with PayU and Bengaluru-based Razorpay to facilitate payments through credit and debit cards, net banking, and all UPI apps available in India.
This initiative follows WhatsApp's earlier partnership with Stripe, which enabled users in Singapore to make payments to businesses via the app. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Meta, commented on the new feature during the company's Conversations 2023 event in Mumbai, stating, “This is going to make it even easier for people to pay Indian businesses within a WhatsApp chat using whatever method they prefer.“
Expanding Business Features and Global Reach
WhatsApp's official blog post highlighted the introduction of “Flows”, a feature designed to expedite business interactions. With Flows, businesses can present rich menus and customizable forms, allowing users to perform tasks like seat selection on trains, meal ordering, or appointment booking without leaving the chat. This feature will be available to businesses globally on the WhatsApp Business Platform in the upcoming weeks.
Furthermore, the platform is enhancing its verification process. Businesses can now receive verification from Meta, ensuring users that they are interacting with genuine businesses. Verified businesses will benefit from a badge, enhanced account support, and protection against impersonation. This feature, named “Meta Verified”, will undergo testing with small businesses using the WhatsApp Business app before its broader rollout.
With over 500 million users in India, WhatsApp's focus on enhancing its business features underscores the platform's commitment to its largest global market. While the app introduced its UPI-based payment services in India back in 2020, it faces stiff competition from other payment giants like Google Pay, PhonePe, and Paytm. The latest update aims to simplify the payment process for both customers and businesses, potentially positioning WhatsApp as a more comprehensive commerce solution in the region.