WhatsApp UPI beta launch for 1 mn user base, low per transaction limit: NPCI

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has said it has given its consent to roll out the beta launch of WhatsApp BHIM UPI with a limited
userbase of 1 million and low per transaction limit, even as a storm has been brewing over NPCI bending rules to allow a player like WhatsApp to enter the market.

Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature product shall be released after the
beta test is successful, NPCI said in a statement.

Multi-bank model offer advantages such as transaction load distribution between banks and helps to integrate popular apps easily with BHIM UPI, it added.

NPCI’s statement comes in the wake of allegations made by the likes of Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who alleged that Facebook, which owns instant messaging app Whatsapp, was flouting the rules of a level playing field.

“After failing to win war against India’s open internet with cheap tricks of free basics, Facebook is again in play. Killing beautiful open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation. I am surprised, champions of open @India_Stack, let it happen!” he had tweeted earlier this week.

The base principle of the unified payments interface or UPI is interoperability, which means a user should be able to send money to anyone else irrespective of the app they are using, as long as they have a valid UPI ID.

“Broad principles for interoperability like a) ability to send and receive money through any BHIM UPI ID b) intent and collect call and c) read and generate BHIM / Bharat QR code are required in final BHIM UPI app. BHIM UPI enabled app which fulfils such principles only will be permissiblefor a full-scale public launch,” NPCI said in its statement today.moneycontrol