WhatsApp Users Can Now Pay Back That Money They Owe Friends Over The App

photographed by Lauren Maccabee.
When you lend money to friends and family, it's remarkable how often they "forget" to pay you back. They'll ping it to you later via bank transfer or buy you drinks/dinner/a ticket to something in return, they tell you. But weeks, or even months, pass and nada. You're left feeling resentful and out of pocket.
But this frustrating strain on our friendships could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to WhatsApp. A handy new feature from the messaging service lets users transfer money to each other inside the app.
In-app payments are due to be widely rolled out in India (the app's biggest market with 200 million users) after a successful trial on one million users – and the rumour mill is hinting it will eventually be rolled out worldwide. Hoorah!
Screenshots of the system have emerged on social media via WABetaInfo and it looks straightforward enough, with users invited to simply verify their phone number and select their bank from a range of options. "Send and receive money securely with UPI," the app reads (UPI stands for Unified Payment Interface, a payments system used by Indian banks).
Peer-to-peer payments are already possible through other messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger, which launched the tool in the UK in November, but it's WhatsApp's feature we're really waiting for. Considering how many people use the app worldwide – 1.5 billion users as of December 2017 – it seems only fair that the company would roll out the convenient feature to the rest of us.
Digital and contactless payments are increasingly de rigueur and in-app payments via WhatsApp are the next logical step. If nothing else, it could save some of our most precious, if often tense, friendships.
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