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Last Updated : Dec 12, 2018 04:56 PM IST | Source:

RBI seeks Centre, NCPI's view on WhatsApp's payment biz: Report

RBI's move comes after the American messaging application raised concerns over the delay in approving its proposed payment business

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has sought the opinion of the Centre and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on WhatsApp's payment business, The Economic Times reported.

The central bank's move comes after the American messaging application raised concerns over the delay in approving its proposed payment business, an official told the paper.

On November 5, WhatsApp chief Chris Daniels had written to the RBI seeking a formal nod to expand payments services to all its 200 million users in India. He had also asked for a level playing field for all companies.


"Whatever concerns we had with WhatsApp Payments, we have outlined them in our previous communication to NPCI and RBI," a senior official at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said, confirming that RBI sent the letter last week.

Read — WhatsApp complying with data localisation norms may force others to follow

Earlier, MeitY has expressed concerns about WhatsApp's payment service regarding lack of two-factor authentication, the sharing of data with its parent - Facebook, and whether it is complying with the RBI's guideline to store data within India.

"Right now, they are mirroring data in India," Dilip Asbe, CEO, NPCI, told the paper. Asbe added that he is waiting for WhatsApp to be fully compliant with data localisation rules.

Read: WhatsApp builds local system to store payments data to meet RBI norms

The payments body had written letters to Google and WhatsApp asking about their plans to store all data pertaining to Indian users on their respective UPI-based payment apps exclusively within the country.

Google launched its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) based app called Tez last year and rechristened it Google Pay recently. The company claimed that as on August 28, 22 million individuals and businesses were using Pay every month, making around 750 million transactions that were worth over $30 billion, or about Rs 2 lakh crore.

Read — Explained: RBI vs payments companies on data localisation 

WhatsApp has been testing its UPI based-payment service since February in beta mode, which has one million users. "Today, almost one million people are testing WhatsApp payments in India. The feedback has been very positive, and people enjoy the convenience of sending money as simply and securely as sending messages," a WhatsApp spokesperson told the paper.

The messaging application is working closely with the Indian government, NPCI, and multiple banks to expand the feature to more people and support India's digital economy, the spokesperson added.

Read — Opinion| Why data localisation regulations are hastily thought out

While NPCI administers all retail payments in the country, including UPI platform, RBI has to grant final approval for WhatsApp payment service owing to its data localisation guidelines.

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First Published on Dec 12, 2018 04:56 pm
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