Facebook-owned messaging giant WhatsApp has been testing its payments services on the Facebook platform in India. In a media statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson confirmed that it uses parent Facebook’s infrastructure for offering payments in India.
The company is working with ICICI Bank to offer mobile payments through NPCI’s UPI. It may also partner with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India for payments in India.
“We have permission from NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and our bank partners to use Facebook as a service provider. WhatsApp is using Facebook payment infrastructure to enable the payments feature. Facebook does not use WhatsApp payment information for commercial purposes, it simply helps pass the necessary payment information to the PSPs,” he added.
WhatsApp On Data Protection
As per the company,
- Basic data is collected during a transaction which includes username, payment address, receiver and senders’ account status, balance sufficiency and others.
- Some of this data is retained for future reference
- All transaction related information is stored in an encrypted format.
- In debit card details, only UPI pin, and card expiry date is taken and are not retained
- UPI Pin is encrypted by NPCI’s software
In order to provide more support to its data privacy drive in India, WhatsApp has also put on stage its offer to become an interoperable payments platform with other BHIM-UPI apps.
Also, the company is working on setting up a 24-hour customer support for users to sort issues linked to its payment services. It will provide support through emails as well as a toll-free number. The support will be available in English Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.
“We will provide 24-hour customer support. Payments users can contact the support team via e-mail and a toll-free number (when the service is rolled out in India),” said WhatsApp spokesperson.
As of now National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has restricted the testing of WhatsApp Pay’s beta version to a sample of 1 Mn users or 1% of WhatsApp’s total user base, whichever is lower.
At present, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp has 200 Mn active monthly users in India. It is speculated that so far 700K users have tried the service.
[The development was reported by ET.]