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Indians Can Now Send Money To Each Other Via WhatsApp

The feature is still in beta but will eventually roll out to every WhatsApp user in India.

Posted on February 10, 2018, at 6:22 a.m. ET

WhatsApp is beta testing letting users in India send money to each other through the app. The feature isn't available to everyone yet, but here's what it looks like once you have it.

BuzzFeed News screenshot

Tapping "Payment" lets users enter an amount and zap it to anyone they're chatting with on WhatsApp, as long as the other person has payments enabled too.

BuzzFeed News screenshot

The feature works on a system called Unified Payments Interface, an Indian government-backed technology that lets users transfer money directly into each other's bank accounts using just their mobile numbers, or a bank-issued payment ID that looks like an email address.

This also means that it *most probably* won't come to any other countries. 😞

WhatsApp declined to comment.

But sources in a position to know told BuzzFeed News that the company will let users in India know when the beta test is over and the feature is more widely available.

WhatsApp's payment feature already has competition in India from the government-backed BHIM app, Alibaba-backed digital wallet Paytm, Flipkart-owned PhonePe, and Google's own payments app for India called Tez.

BUT more than 200 million Indians already use WhatsApp, so the company has an edge.

People are ~excited~.

Twitter: @AroonDeep / Via Twitter: @AroonDeep

Just tried #WhatsApp #payments. Got reminded what great user experience is all about 👍

Twitter: @amrishrau / Via Twitter: @amrishrau

However, some are pointing out some obvious flaws...

One problem with Whatsapp UPI : you can now essentially send money to anyone who's number you can get. They cannot…

Twitter: @aatifsumar / Via Twitter: @aatifsumar

...and the potential for people to be scammed over WhatsApp.

@PranavDixit Pay this account 1000 rupees to save a dying kid. Please your money means a lot to the kids family. In…

Twitter: @digitaldutta / Via Twitter: @digitaldutta

Can you imagine how easily all the uncles and the WhatsApp family groups are going to fall for this shit?

Twitter: @PranavDixit / Via Twitter: @PranavDixit

Either way, I can't wait for my family to be sending me money instead of spamming me with "Good morning!" messages.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.