This is kind of getting interesting as WhatsApp is not relenting in upgrading her services. Few days ago, WhatsApp introduced Payment feature in India and it has started rolling out to users. Very soon, it will be available to Nigeria and other African countries.
The payment feature is powered by UPI which enables users to send and receive money easily. With the new service, users can now link their bank account to their WhatsApp account via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and begin making payments straight to another user’s bank account through a WhatsApp chat.
How It Works
Users can locate the payment option in Whatsapp by tapping on the attachment button placed next to the camera icon. After that, users will see the payment option along with other options such as gallery, video and others. Once clicked then a list of banks will appear on the screen and you then have to select the bank to which bank account is being linked. After selecting the account, you will just have to verify it to send the money.
WhatsApp Payment Feature, A Major Concern to Nigerian Bank
You’ll recall that sometimes last year, Telcos urges Federal Government to ban WhatsApp because the activities of ‘over-the-top’ companies like WhatsApp, Viber have adverse effects on its business and affects the sustainability of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.
Now, analyst are saying if WhatsApp becomes very successful in payments, it may become a small bank of itself. In other words, if people decide to be leaving money in their wallets without moving them to their bank accounts, most banks would struggle [liquidity issues]”As a Nigerian, why will I go to the ATM to make transfer that incurs charges or open bank digital wallet to make transfer when I can easily execute it directly from my WhatsApp application?
The case maybe worse for Nigerian banks because as Ekewe pointed out, most Nigerian banks are enjoying growing transaction-based fees with ATM charges and all kinds of charges including stamp duty on digital transfer.