WhatsApp has not just become a household name in India, as a messaging app. Owing to its growing popularity, this Facebook-acquired app has ventured into the business realm as well. The business WhatsApp app is designed to connect customers and businesses. Further, to ease digital payments and catalyze business growth, WhatsApp has collaborated with National Payments Corporations of India (NPCI) to devise a convenient and quick payment feature. To know more about WhatsApp Pay, read on.

First things first
After a 2-year waiting period, WhatsApp finally got a nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to roll out its payment feature. The payment is based on Unified Payment Service (UPI), which makes it a direct competitor of Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe, and similar payment applications.

Since the service is in its nascent stage, it will be provided to only 20 million users as of now. Also, the NPCI has announced a 30-percent cap on the total payment via every third party payments app, from January 1st, 2021 onwards. While WhatsApp is not charging anything for the transactions, INR 1 lakh is the limit for every transaction, complying with standard UPI transaction daily limit.

To register with WhatsApp Pay, you must have a bank account that is linked with your mobile number (only Indian numbers) and a debit card. Further, to avail the service, you should upgrade your WhatsApp version to and follow the below steps for registration-
• Go to the three dots on the top-right corner of your app and select Payment
• Choose your bank account
• Verify your mobile number to link with your bank account
• Post-verification, your account will be linked
• Go to the chat window to proceed with the transaction
• Pay another UPI user from your chat box, using your 4-digit UPI PIN as the password

Note: Since WhatsApp Pay is being rolled out in phases, you might not be able to access it immediately. Also, to initiate payment, the receiver also needs to be registered with Whatsapp Pay or have an active UPI ID.

How WhatsApp Pay will benefit MSMEs
In recent years, India has witnessed a paradigm shift in the way MSMEs operate. The small business sector is rapidly moving towards digital platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp business group. In fact, out of 50 million users of the WhatsApp Business app, India alone has 15 million users. Likewise, Indian SMB pages on Facebook are growing at over 70% year on year.

These apps are more than likely to embrace digital payment methods as the benefits are many. Such options and advantages are not available in case of cash-based transactions. Hence, the launch of WhatsApp Pay will surely be a boon for MSMEs.

As per a report by the World Bank in the year 2014, over 35% or one in three MSMEs usually receive payment after 90 days or more. This delay causes 15-20% of the cash to be pending. This further blocks the business’s growth. However, by adopting WhatsApp Pay, this problem can be eliminated to a considerable extent.

Integration of WhatsApp Pay is likely to boost the efficiency of the payment cycle and also offer other benefits, namely:
• Enhanced security
• Maximum ROI (Return on Investment)
• Customizable payment services
• Minimal administrative cost
• Greater transparency
• Transactional history
• Competitive advantage in the market
• Invoicing and accounting assistance

Usually, with other UPI enabled payment methods, users face the problem of transaction notification. You have to share the screenshot of the payment as proof in this case. With the help of WhatsApp Pay though, this problem will not exist as the transaction notification will come through the chat box itself.

Considering the user-friendly attributes of the WhatsApp-based payment method and the large consumer base of the messaging app, MSMEs are likely to adopt it fairly quickly.

The above discussion clearly indicates that WhatsApp Pay will empower small and medium businesses by making digital payments hassle-free and affordable. You can make and accept payments anytime and from anywhere. Also, both the sender and recipient will receive the payment notification instantly on their chat window once a transaction has been completed. In summary, thanks to its enormous user base, WhatsApp’s payment feature will make life easy for MSMEs in India.