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WhatsApp seeks RBI approval for commercial launch of Payments

WhatsApp Payments could launch in India soon as the company has reportedly approached the Reserve bank of India (RBI) for approval. According to a Financial Times report, WhatsApp is in the final stages of regulatory clearances for the commercial launch of Payments.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
August 31, 2019 12:55:59 pm
In India, WhatsApp Payments is based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which allows for direct bank-to-bank transfers.

WhatsApp Payments could launch in India soon as the company has reportedly approached the Reserve bank of India (RBI) for approval. According to a Financial Times report, WhatsApp is in the final stages of regulatory clearances for the commercial launch of Payments.

The report added that an audit is being conducted after WhatsApp agreed to the data localisation norms set by the RBI for payments-related data. As of now, WhatsApp is testing Payments in beta with over one million users on iOS and Android. In India, WhatsApp Payments is based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which allows for direct bank-to-bank transfers.

In the beta testing phase, WhatsApp has steadily rolled out several features for Payments such as sending payments to any UPI account, and not just those on the WhatsApp platform, and the ability to scan a QR code to make, receive payments.

Last year, the official rollout of WhatsApp Payments was delayed due to privacy concerns by the Indian government over how users’ data will be stored and other issues. WhatsApp and its partner banks were asked by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to supply more details about the payments system.

Also read: WhatsApp Payments launch by year end: Here is how to send, receive money on the beta version

Bloomberg previously reported that the company will partner with HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd, and State Bank of India to process transfers. The ministry had also requested that the National Payments Corporation of India, confirm that WhatsApp is fully compliant with its requirements.

WhatsApp is one of the largest messaging apps in India with over 400 million people using the platform. Launching a Payments service in India could give the company a significant advantage over the competition and help further cement its position.

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