Meta-owned messaging app Whatsapp has been trying to create a space for itself and India’s payments market since 2020. On Wednesday, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced that Whatsapp can now add 60 million more people to UPI, bringing the total number to 100 million.
While app installs exceed a billion in India, Whatsapp has an estimated 600 million people actively using the app. With the current increase in the number of UPI accounts they can onboard, Whatsapp will only be able to cover about 15% of its total userbase.
On November 5, 2020, NPCI approved “Whatsapp to go live on UPI in a graded manner” with 20 million people. One year later, they approved the onboarding of another 20 million people, bringing the total to 40 million. And now, six months later, another 60 million have been approved.
While Whatsapp certainly has received a significant boost with this increase, its rivals have already become dominant in the online payments market in the country.
According to NPCI stats for March 2022, PhonePe led with 471,401 crores in total transaction value, followed by Google Pay with 338,873 crores and Paytm at 95,650 crores. At the same time, Whatsapp had processed about 240 crores worth of UPI transactions.
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Last week, NPCI clarified rumours around the purchase of cryptocurrencies using UPI. In a statement, NPCI said, “National Payments Corporation of India would like to clarify that we are not aware of any crypto exchange using UPI”.