WhatsApp users may soon have to verify their identity to make payments

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WhatsApp users may soon have to verify their identity to make payments
Representational image.Pixabay
  • WhatsApp may soon require users to provide their identity proof.
  • This change will only affect users who wish to make payments using the app.
  • Apps like PhonePe and Google Pay do not ask users to verify their identities.
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WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in India and in addition to chats and calls, the Facebook-owned company has also been working on WhatsApp Pay, its payments offering for some time now.

WhatsApp received the nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) last year and has been rolling payments in a phased manner. Earlier this year, the company started testing a payment shortcut for the app, allowing users to make payments right from the chatbox.

It seems like WhatsApp is making its first major change to WhatsApp Pay. As per an APK teardown done by XDA Developers, WhatsApp may soon ask users to verify their identity if they wish to continue using payments.

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The WhatsApp v2.21.22.6 beta version includes new strings that hint towards a new verification system.

The following strings are – "Your identity couldn't be verified. Try uploading the documents again,” and "Verify your identity to continue using payments on WhatsApp.”

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WhatsApp Pay is currently available in India and Brazil. While WhatsApp currently authenticates payments using mobile numbers in India, users in Brazil are required to authenticate their debit and credit cards using Facebook Pay.

While other Unified Payments Interface (UPI) apps like PhonePe and Google Pay do not require users to verify their identity, payment apps like Paytm and MobiKwik require users to complete know your customer (KYC) verification.

This could either mean that WhatsApp is finally moving to add more features such as a wallet or this feature is aimed at businesses that wish to receive payments on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp has not made an official announcement about the new change. We should know more about this in the coming days.

Update: Here's an official statement from a WhatsApp India spokesperson

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“In India, Payments on WhatsApp does not require any verification documents. Payments on WhatsApp, is approved by National Payments Corporation of India and powered by BHIM UPI that enables transactions with legitimate banking partners. Like other UPI payment applications, a user needs to ensure that the mobile number is the same as the one linked to their bank account, to start sending and receiving money, through payments on WhatsApp.”

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