WhatsApp, which has been running a pilot of its payment service in the country with 1 million users, said Tuesday that it has built a system which stores payments-related data locally in India to comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines. The RBI had, on April 5, said that all payment system operators in India must move to a system of storing transaction data within India by October 15. So far, WhatsApp is the only major overseas player to have confirmed compliance.
However, it is still not clear whether WhatsApp will get the regulatory approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for a full-fledged roll out as it has not clarified whether such data is being shared with any third party like its parent Facebook. The ministry of electronics and IT had advised the NPCI to accord approval only once it clarifies whether it shares data with any third party.
In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “In India, almost 1 million people are testing WhatsApp payments to send money to each other… In response to India’s payments data circular, we have built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India. WhatsApp payments is useful for people in their daily lives and we hope to expand the feature to all of India soon…” —FE