The National Payments Corporation of India has given the go-ahead to WhatsApp to launch UPI services in a graded manner.
The green signal comes after the popular instant-messaging app has been testing its UPI payment service in beta mode with users for more than two years.
NPCI said WhatsApp can expand its UPI userbase "in a graded manner starting with a maximum registered user base of twenty (20) million in UPI."
Importantly, the go-ahead was given just after NPCI said it had issued a cap of 30 percent of total volume of transactions processed in UPI, applicable to all third-party app providers (TPAPs). This will be with effect from January 1, 2021.
The cap "will help to address the risks and protect the UPI ecosystem as it further scales up," NPCI said.
The cap of 30 percent will be calculated basis the total volume of transactions processed in UPI during the preceding three months (on a rolling basis).
"The existing TPAPs exceeding the specified cap will have a period of two years from January 2021, to comply with the same in a phased manner," NPCI said.
The launch of WhatsApp's payment services marks the culmination of a long journey that included court cases, and concerns over data localisation as well as the risk of monopoly of the ubiquitous app, which has over 400 million users in India.
The UPI payments market is currently dominated by the likes of Google Pay (estimated 40 percent share), PhonePe (40 percent) and Paytm and MobiKwik (combined 20 percent).
WhatsApp Pay has already amassed 1 million users during its trial.