WhatsApp, the messaging app where snobbish aunts and society uncles rant in mad groups, is becoming a payments portal now. You can pick between net banking, cards, Paytm, Google Pay, etc. to pay for items within the app itself.

“Starting today, people in India can add items to their cart and send a payment using the method of their choice from all supported UPI apps, debit and credit cards, and more,” says the company.

Payment options in WhatsApp
Credit: WhatsApp

Took you long enough, bruh!

WhatsApp has roughly half a billion users India, but the status of its mobile payments service has been stuck in rollout hell due to regulatory restrictions. After all, WhatsApp is the biggest messaging platform in the country, and giving it an open hand at mobile payments would mean it would easily demolish local players like Paytm and PhonePay.

Such is the competition scare that government has even imposed a cap on the volume of payments that Google Pay can process, just to ensure that it doesn’t eat up the entire competition.

WhatsApp Pay, despite using the same underlying framework that is UPI, has been embroiled in similar worries. That’s primarily because it already has a massive user base on the messaging app that is ripe for using payment services available on the same platform.

It appears that our overlords at Meta have struck a bargain where they can avoid competition concerns by allowing rival payment services on WhatsApp, leaving the user to decide what service they prefer for financial transactions.

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