New Delhi, April 17: WhatsApp has introduced a new feature called ‘Request Money’ under the ‘Whatsapp Payments’ in India today and has allowed a few android beta users to test it. The feature is built on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) that allows direct transfer through one’s bank account. This direct transfer would only be possible if the user has a UPI id connected to their bank account. It must be noted that users will also have to have their mobile number registered with the bank account and the same mobile number must be synced with their Whatsapp account for the feature to work. Users will be able to find all requests and their statuses in the Payments option that comes under Settings.

Know how to use Whatsapp ‘Request Money’ feature:

  1. Open Whatsapp, then go to Settings and tap on Payments and then once again tap on New Payment.
  2. Enter the UPI address or scan the QR code likewise.
  3. Once you enter the UPI address, Whatsapp verifies the user.
  4. After verification, the options in the pop-up changes and both ‘Request Money’ and ‘Pay Money’ buttons is seen.
  5. Tap on the ‘Request Money’ button and enter the relevant amount.
  6. You’d receive the amount you’ve requested.

It may be noted that a request for money once sent remains active only for the next 24 hours after which it expires.

The ‘Request Money’ feature is just next to the ‘Pay Money’ option which is for sending money to contacts. What comes in addition to this new Whatsapp feature is users’ privacy which may be compromised and hence it is advisable for users to test this feature on trial with utmost alertness. A clause in Whatsapp privacy policy reads,”We share information with third-party providers and services to help us operate and improve Payments… To send payment instructions to PSPs (payment service providers), maintain your transaction history, provide customer support, and keep our Services safe and secure, including to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, safety, security, abuse, or other misconduct, we share information we collect under this Payments Privacy Policy with third-party service providers including Facebook.”

This clause makes the use of this feature insecure and leaves the users of the popular messaging app vulnerable. There are nearly 250 million Facebook users and around 200 million Whatsapp users in India. Given the recent state of affairs with Facebook was embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica’s data breach scandal, it is hard to trust Whatsapp privacy policy. Moreover, it already states in its privacy clause that it gives out information, such as the number of transactions made and mobile number to its third party services, including Facebook.

The feature was first uncovered by Twitter user @FidatoCA.