Google Pay v/s WhatsApp Payments

WhatsApp Payments vs Google Tez

We all have witnessed the epic “demonetization” policy of the Indian government in November 2016. This not just was a step to curb black money but it opened its doors to the digital payments market. After this time and in the time of crisis many big players entered into the line of digital payments market leading it ways to a cashless economy. India’s digital payments revolution began in August 2016 with the launch of the Unified Payments Interface or UPI.
Google also stepped into this footing with its mobile payments service called -Google Pay on 19th September 2017. Within 37 days of its launch, Google Pay was able to get a whopping number of downloads reaching up to 7.5 million and over 30 million transactions were made using the app within a month.

The war in India’s payments app segment had gone deeper with the country’s most renowned app WhatsApp entering the tussle. Facebook-owned WhatsApp after recently rolling out its business version, announced the rolling out of its payments feature using WhatsApp messenger itself.

Google Pay and WhatsApp, both have built their facilities over the Indian government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system. UPI is used for transmitting money by directly tapping into bank accounts rather than having any hassles of maintaining a virtual wallet. This means that the app allows the users to pay directly from their bank account, which in turn means that the users have their money safe in the bank and they will continue to earn interest on it. They will not have to open any separate account or worry about reloading their wallets. Let’s get a detailed idea about these both.

Google Pay

Google Pay is more of a payment app than a messenger. “Pay”, a hindi word meaning faster signifies fast payments using this Google app. Specially designed for India, Google Pay works with all major banks of the country and in varied languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu.

Google Pay also has a distinctive and additive feature called “Cash mode”. This mode allows its users to pair their smartphones with nearby Google Pay users whom they want to remit money to, using audio commands and send money into their bank accounts directly, without the need to share private details like bank account and phone number.


Payment in WhatsApp application is presently restricted to friends or contacts on the app and works only between users who have updated and enabled the feature on their app. WhatsApp Payments have a lead over the other services, simply based on its reach. WhatsApp Payments allows users to transfer money to WhatsApp contacts within a chat itself. The new ‘Payments’ feature can be accessed from the Chat window in the Attachments menu. WhatsApp allows transferring money to WhatsApp contacts within a chat itself, making it convenient. And what gives it the biggest advantage is its reach.

Similarities and Differences

  • Necessity of Application: Google Pay allows users to send money to anyone with a bank account even if they don’t have their app on their smartphone but this isn’t the case with WhatsApp payments. In WhatsApp the payments are made within the chat itself, so both the user and the receiver need to have WhatsApp app for carrying out the transaction.
  • Security: Hoax or fraud messages can be spread via WhatsApp which might result in fraudulent transactions as well. This is less likely to happen with Google Pay. The Google Pay Shield helps to detect fraud and prevent hacking. Each transaction is secured using UPI PIN and the app is secured with a Google PIN.
  • Approach: Both the companies are going about the design from opposite directions — WhatsApp is adding payments to a chat app, and on the contrary Google Pay is adding chat to a payments app.
  • Transaction Limit: The transaction limit for Google Pay is limited up to Rs. 1 lakh using the UPI transfer on the contrary the transaction limit for WhatsApp is as what is allowed by the users Bank.
  • Schemes and Offers: Google Pay offers its users Cashback on many transactions but the same feature isn’t available on WhatsApp as of now.
  • Audio command: Google Pay supports a unique feature of audio commands using which its user can pay to people in the vicinity via voice commands.  This is the only app which supports this feature. The app allows users to pair their smartphones with nearby Pay users using audio commands and sends money directly into their bank accounts without the need to share their bank account details or phone number. No such feature is available in WhatsApp.
  • Popularity: WhatsApp today enjoys over 200 million monthly active users, which makes it much more reachable and popular app amongst the users as compared to the other apps. Google Pay is slowly capturing the market with 12 million users as of December 2017. As far as suitability is concerned, people are likely to prefer WhatsApp over Google Pay to send and receive money rather than download a separate app to do so.
  • Utility Bill payment: Google Pay enables users to make an extensive range of bill payments which includes payments for electricity, water, gas, DTH, and insurance. Created to support the Bharat BillPay system, Google Pay sends the user a notification when their bill becomes due and users can check whether they have paid the bill by simply tapping the biller’s name on their applications home screen. This feature is not yet added to WhatsApp, thus giving a little edge to Google Pay over Whatsapp for the purpose of payment of utilities bill.

The war between the mobile wallets in India has become intense especially after the RBI’s full KYC mandate to carry out transactions. Both the companies are in lookout for new ways and any addition of new features to attract users to switch to their application. It would be interesting to see which application turns out to be more popular amongst the masses.

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