WhatsApp Introduces Payments Backgrounds to Let You Personalise Money Transfers With Friends, Family

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WhatsApp on Tuesday introduced Payments Backgrounds in India to upgrade the experience of money transfers on its platform. The new feature is aimed to deliver a personalised payments experience to WhatsApp users. It lets you select a relevant background when you are sending money to your friends or family using WhatsApp Payments. The experience is live for both Android and iPhone users in the country. WhatsApp says that the core idea through the Payments Background feature is to add an element of expression when users are exchanging money on the platform with their friends and family.

Initially, WhatsApp has added a list of seven backgrounds from which you can choose the most relevant one when sending money to your loved ones. There are also few theme-based backgrounds, including the one that you can choose specifically when sending money to your sister on Rakshabandhan (coming on Sunday, August 22). WhatsApp has also added backgrounds that you can use for sending payments on birthdays, holidays, and for travel.

How to choose a payment background on WhatsApp

You can select a payment background when you’re making a new payment on WhatsApp by tapping the backgrounds icon on the ‘Send Payment’ screen. Once you tap that icon, the app will show you the available list of backgrounds at the bottom from where you can pick the one that matches your payment theme. You can also add a note alongside the background to describe the reason for your payment or highlight your expression.

Once done, the recipient will be able to see the background along with the amount of the payment you have made.

“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,” said Manesh Mahatme, Director of WhatsApp Payments, in a prepared statement. “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.”

WhatsApp launched its payments service after months of testing in November last year. It started with five banking partners, though the list later reduced the partners list to four banks that are namely Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and the State Bank of India (SBI) — as the service silently removed Jio Payments Bank from the list.

At present, WhatsApp Payments that is based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) enables transactions with over 227 banks.

Despite being in the market for the last some months, WhatsApp Payments has not yet been able to mark any significant growth. Its market share among other UPI-based apps even declined from 0.16 percent to 0.014 percent, according to the latest data shared by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The service enabled 4.7 lakh transactions worth Rs. 45.33 crores in the month of July.

Having said that, WhatsApp seems to be trying attract users by adding the Payments Backgrounds feature. Some other features also appear to be in the plans to gain some market share over time.

“We look forward to creating more features and functionalities and continue making payments on WhatsApp an interesting and interactive experience,” Mahatme said.


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