Google India on Monday (August 31) told the Delhi high court that it does not have access to the Aadhaar database and does not require any such information for operating its digital wallet platform Google Pay.
“Google Pay does not require user’s Aadhaar details, in any manner whatsoever and therefore, neither does it require to access the Aadhaar database nor does it have access to the Aadhaar database,” Google India said in an affidavit filed before the HC reported ET.
Google India’s response came on a petition claiming that Google Pay had “unauthorised access to the Bhim Aadhaar – Unified Payments Platform”.
The petition filed by Abhijit Mishra, a financial economist, claimed that Google Pay does not figure in the list of the ‘Payment System Operators’ authorised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
RBI in its affidavit had contended that GPay was a third-party app provider (TPAP) and does not operate any payment systems. Therefore, its operations are not in violation of the Payment and Settlement System Act of 2007, RBI had said.
Mishra, in the petition filed through advocate Payal Bahl, has claimed that GPay was acting as a payments system provider in violation of the Payments and Settlements Act as it has no valid authorisation from the central bank of the country to carry out such functions. The high court listed the matter for further hearing on October 22.
Last month, it was reported that Google was looking to partner with some undisclosed lending firms to launch a credit facility for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) or merchants listed on its digital payments platform Google Pay by the end of this year. The product feature would be launched in partnership with bank partners. It would help over 3 Mn verified merchants to avail instant credits if only the bank partners deem them creditworthy.
Earlier this year, Google Pay was also revealed to be the most downloaded fintech application worldwide, with 15.6 Mn downloads in February 2020. Of these, 83.6% of downloads for the application, amounting to around 13.6 Mn, were from India.
In February, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that the company had taken the learnings from the successful launch of Google Pay in India, to shape its global digital payments products. He added that the success of the unified payments interface (UPI) platform had influenced the course of product development.