India’s government has announced the launch of the Unified Payments Service project.
The UPS project will enable money to be transferred between mobile money services and bank accounts. There are two players in the space: Whatsapp and PayTM.
Whatsapp has just entered the market this week. “India has been on a huge digital payments boom – WhatsApp couldn’t have asked for a better time to roll this out,” claims the company.
Indians have also been very active at using WhatsApp for transactions, according to analysts. As of November, there are 160 million Whatsapp users in the country, according to the reports,
This digital payments growth comes as a response to the Indian government’s decision to pull high-value banknotes out of circulation in November last year. In an economy still heavily reliant on cash transactions, this move caused large disruption, but has been a catalyst for new payment methods.