The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on April 13 approved an additional 60 million users on UPI for WhatsApp, allowing the messaging platform to expand its UPI-based payment service from 40 million to 100 million users. This new limit should allow the Meta-owned platform to better tap into its 500 million user base and compete with other apps such as Google Pay and PhonePe, which currently dominate the UPI market. Why is NPCI increasing WhatsApp's UPI cap in a graded manner? Ever since WhatsApp got approval for its UPI service in 2020, NPCI has been increasing the platform's cap in a gradual manner. First, the platform was allowed to onboard only 20 million users. Then, in November 2021, this was increased to 40 million users. This is at odds with other UPI apps, which do not appear to have any cap on the number of users that can be onboarded. According to Economic Times, WhatsApp had in fact sought permission for UPI payments for all its users in India in one go without any cap. Nikhil adds: So why is NPCI treating WhatsApp differently from other platforms, and what's the rational basis for this graded process? Without a clear explanation from the NPCI, this appears to be an arbitrary approach, and once again highlights the fact that there needs to be an independent payments regulator that bring some transparency and clarity into some of the decisions that NPCI takes, especially given the importance of UPI. What's your take on it, dear…
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