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WhatsApp Payments faces a new hurdle in India

By: Rohan Pal, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : August 01, 2018 1:09 pm

The Indian government has asked WhatsApp to open up an office in India first and only it will be able to roll out its payments services in the country. The government has asked for RBI’s views on whether payment solutions controlled remotely violate its rules or not. This will further delay the rollout of the service.
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WhatsApp Payments service may face a delay as the Indian government has raised a  couple of objections. To give the go-ahead to payment services of WhatsApp Government has asked the company to set up a local office before rolling out the new feature as they are not offering payment services in any other country which does raise doubts about their ability. 

 

According to a report by The Economic Times, the government has asked for RBI’s views on whether payment solutions controlled remotely violate rules or not. The report says that the Indian government had conveyed this message to the messaging app earlier this month when a WhatsApp executive met officials from Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

 

 “They don’t have an office here, they don’t have a team, payment is a very critical activity, and they are not involved in payments in any other country, so it doesn’t give us confidence,” an official told the publication. It is learnt, WhatsApp is now looking to set up a team in India and it is currently looking for two leadership positions including India and Head of Policy. 

 

This is not for the first time, WhatsApp is facing trouble for its payments service. Initially, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma alleged that WhatsApp upcoming payments feature is not secure for the users. MeitY has also asked NPCI to keep a check on this service and whether it is in line with RBI rules.

 

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WhatsApp has earlier revealed that the last 6 digits of the debit card and UPI PIN is not stored on its server. However, the instant messaging application is using Facebook infrastructure for its payments service. The company has revealed that Facebook processes UPI transaction data as a service provider and it does not use this data for commercial purposes.


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