As the market readies for final and much-awaited launch of WhatsApp Payments in the country, the company on its end is reportedly reaching out to the Reserve Bank of India to submit its audit report.
In April, WhatsApp told the Supreme Court of India that it will rely on a third-party company to audit its payments system and ensure that it complies with Indian data localisation rules. The situation arose when the central bank filed an affidavit to the Supreme Court stating that WhatsApp had not complied with its data localisation norms.
A WhatsApp spokesperson reportedly said, “WhatsApp looks forward to providing WhatsApp Payments based on the UPI standard to all users in India and we continue to work with our local partners towards a shared goal of supporting a more Digital India.”
With regulatory approvals pending for WhatsApp Payments following concerns about data storage and the fake news epidemic on the messaging app, WhatsApp has been having a tough time in India for payments.
The Indian government had stipulated that WhatsApp must comply with Indian norms, including complying with the Reserve Bank of India’s data localisation rules, setting up an office in India and appointing a grievance officer and formulate a team in India.
Inc42 reported earlier this month that WhatsApp has resumed the beta test of the WhatsApp Payments services in India, with a select group of users. In June 2018, almost 1 Mn people were testing WhatsApp payments at the beta stage in India out of company’s over 200 Mn Indian users.
The company in its FAQ has said, “We’re building a new payment feature for India that enables people to easily send money to each other via WhatsApp. We are beta testing this feature so it’s only available to a limited number of people in India. Please be aware that the payments feature will change over time as we add more capabilities.”
WhatsApp had recently said that it has finally set up its data storage facilities in India and is reportedly preparing for the full launch of its UPI payments app in association with ICICI Bank. Incidentally, ICICI Bank is the partner in the beta test currently.
In the face of growing digital payments industry and competition among players such as Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay, the entry of WhatsApp Payments has been expected to cause disruption over the last one year. However, by when can WhatsApp Payments finally join India’s digital payments industry, which is estimated to grow to $1 Tn by 2023, will be the decisive factor in this disruption.