WhatsApp Payment Service In India: Government Withheld The Launch, Again

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Amidst the struggle with raging controversies the launch of WhatsApp payment service in India is has been put on holdWhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messaging has been denied the permission for the nationwide launch of its online payment service in the country, for the time being. Showing concerns regarding the usage and storage of the valuable user data by the country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology or MEITY, the government has decided to tighten all possible loose connects before they actually allow the nationwide launch of Whatsapp payment services planned in India by Facebook, the social media titan.

WhatsApp Payment Service In India: The New Concern

The Reserve Bank of India and the MEITY, along with NPCI or the National Payments Corporation of India, showed serious concerns over the sharing of highly valuable user payment and other data at the hands of WhatsApp, and with its parent company, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).

Lately, the leading instant messaging app has been involved in the controversies regarding the lynching in the country. However, it is not sure whether the delayed permission for the nationwide launch has any causal relation to the company’s apparent involvement in the mob lynching cases.

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Also, of what came to be the second attempt of WhatsApp trying to enter the Indian online payment service, ended up in a failure mainly as the very idea of allowing a foreign party to enter the country’s payment ‘ecosystem’ did not go down well with the Reserve bank of India or the RBI. However, the beta version has made the option available to a selected group of its users.

A sort of a bizarre amendment(s) in the company’s privacy policy in the month of March 2018, that the news of WhatsApp sharing its users’ personal data with Facebook and other third parties, such as ICICI in India, came out, forcing the company to issue a chain of unsuccessful clarifications. The WhatsApp payment service and the attached private user data was not meant to be shared for commercial reasons rather it is passed on to ICICI and NPCI, as later clarified by the company’s officials.  Also, if the data is found to b shared then it is solely for the purpose and with an intention to enhance the customers’ support and provide a secure transaction.

Already Irking The Local Payment Companies

The originator of India’s biggest computerized payment organization Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, terms the starting of Whatsapp’s beta version as an unreasonable play for which he guaranteed to approach the nation’s Unified Digital Payment System (UPI) designer, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). He moved further to bring issues up in the approach of administration of the last in NPCI. A bank-owned not for benefit organization, NPCI is accepted to be impartial, fair facilitator. Likewise, Mr Sharma claims that by encouraging Whatsapp to utilize UPI without logging in independently, and under apparently, extraordinary conditions, NPCI is abusing unwritten standards. As indicated by the Paytm Founder, Facebook is never going to budge on overcoming India’s digital payment space and is utilizing UPI for imperious reasons.

Keeping in mind the recent embarrassments faced by Facebook due to violating the privacy of its users and also the objectionable privacy policies and amendments made by WhatsApp, it seems only wise on part of the RBI and the MEIT to withhold their nationwide launch of the payment function. However, the company seems optimistic, having a base of more than 240 million users in India.

“We are working closely with the Indian government, NPCI and multiple banks including our payment service providers to expand the feature to more people,” Anne Yeh, a WhatsApp spokeswoman said.

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