Info-tech

WhatsApp to adopt 500 villages enabling them with digital payment tools

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 15, 2021
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The pilot was successful with villagers adopting WhatsApp as a mode of payment

WhatsApp on Wednesday announced its pilot program of adopting 500 villages across Karnataka and Maharashtra aiming to empower villagers with access to digital payments through ‘payments on WhatsApp’.

Started from October 15 this year, the pilot was called ‘Digital Payments Utsav’ launched in Kyathanahalli village in Mandya district of Karnataka, wherein on-ground facilitators familiarised villagers with various aspects of digital payments including - signing up for UPI, setting up a UPI account and safety best practices of using digital payments.

“At WhatsApp we are committed to help accelerate financial inclusion in the country. We have started this pilot program in 500 villages across Karnataka and Maharashtra as part of our mission to onboard the next 500 million to the digital payments ecosystem. We believe that WhatsApp’s ease of use and reliability can promote the adoption of UPI with users across, including those at the bottom of the pyramid. We will continue to contribute meaningfully in this journey of educating users at the grassroots, so they can trust digital payments, as they gradually make the transition from a ‘cash-only’ way of financial life,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said at Fuel For India 2021.

The pilot was successful with villagers beginning to adopt WhatsApp as a mode of payment. The village-grocery store or the beauty-parlour owner and scores of other people and small and medium businesses - are now accepting and receiving payments digitally using ‘payments on WhatsApp’.

Chidananda KJ, Gram Panchayat Member of Kyathanahalli village added :“Withdrawing money from banks in villages used to be tedious and time consuming and ATMs also don’t usually have cash. Things have become much easier because of payments on WhatsApp.”

Additionally, WhatsApp has equipped its main camera to scan QR codes, adding another layer of convenience for users of payments on WhatsApp, targeting access to 20 million QR-accepting stores in the country. Over the next six months, the messaging app will be investing in ‘payments for WhatsApp.

Published on December 15, 2021

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