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WhatsApp wants to use your ‘legal name’: What it means for users – Times of India

WhatsApp Payment users in India, here’s an important update for you. The instant messaging app has started identifying “legal” names of users who have enabled the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based payments feature on its app. These are the names that are there in users’ bank accounts and so may be different from their profile names. “When you use payments on WhatsApp, other UPI users will be able to view your legal name. This is the same name on your bank account,” says WhatsApp on its FAQ page. These names will also be shown to the person a users transfers money or makes payment to. WhatsApp has started showing users of WhatsApp Payment notification in its app regarding the same. The notification carries the WhatsApp FAQ page link detailing the legal name requirement.
What is behind this requirement
WhatsApp claims that the legal name requirement is as per National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) guidelines. The aim of this is to reduce fraud across the UPI payments system.
How will WhatsApp know users ‘legal name’
The Facebook-owned company says that it uses the phone number associated with users’ WhatsApp account to identify their bank account number. The name associated with bank account is the name that will be shared. “When you use payments on WhatsApp, other UPI users will be able to view your legal name. This is the same name on your bank account,” the FAQ page reads.
WhatsApp gives users the flexibility to pick any name of up to 25 characters on the app as their profile name. Users can also add emojis to their profile name. However, the new requirement makes it mandatory for users of its payment service to share their names as per their bank accounts when they sign up for the WhatsApp Payment feature.
WhatsApp Payments in India
WhatsApp has been trying hard to grow the adoption of its payments service in the country. WhatsApp Payments launched in beta in India in 2018. The service came out of beta in November 2020. Last month, WhatsApp received NPCI’s approval to expand the service to 100 million users. The company recently also started offering cashbacks to users.
Globally, WhatsApp Payments is available is available in limited countries (India and Brazil) and on specific devices. WhatsApp users can send and receive money to and from friends and family using the service. The company plans to expand it to business in the near future.

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