In a bid to strengthen its payment services offering in India, instant messaging platform WhatsApp has introduced ‘Payments Backgrounds feature on the platform.
"Built for India, this new feature is relevant, exciting, and memorable as it helps people easily convey a feeling along with sending money," said a company statement on Tuesday.
Designed in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), the payments feature on WhatsApp is an India-first, real-time payment system that enables transactions with over 227 banks, it said.
Manesh Mahatme, Director of WhatsApp Payments said: "WhatsApp is a safe space where people share their thoughts and feelings with their friends and family. With Payments Backgrounds, our effort is to bring excitement to everyday payments through WhatsApp and enable our users to express themselves if they wish, through a range of emotive themes denoting celebrations, affection, warmth or fun."
"We believe that sending and receiving money is so much more than just a transaction. Often, it's the stories behind the exchanges that are priceless. We look forward to creating more features and functionalities and continue making payments on WhatsApp an interesting and interactive experience," he added.
Conversations involving payments are often imagined to be simply transactional. WhatsApp has created this thematic range of artful expressions to complement sending payments on birthdays, holidays, or for gifts and travel, the company said.
As per WhatsApp, the core idea of this feature update is to create a more personalised experience for the sender as well as the receiver by adding an element of expression when friends and family exchange money.
"Whether it is friends splitting the bill after a meal, sending money to near and dear ones as a token of your love or gifting your sister on the occasion of Rakshabandhan, payment backgrounds make sending money personal and brings alive the story behind every payment," the statement said.
WhatsApp has been trying hard to make a mark in the already crowded online payments segment in India with strong incumbents including Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe, Amazon Pay already having consolidated their position.'