WhatsApp will need an all-clear from the Supreme Court before it can roll out its payment feature, The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has already given it the go-ahead, saying WhatsApp Pay has fulfilled all data localization norms.
WhatsApp Pay can go live only after the apex court gives its final verdict in a case in which several parties, including the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government, have been made a party, according to a top official aware of the discussion.
“The letter of approval to WhatsApp has still not been issued.”
Rivals Google Pay and Walmart-owned PhonePe were given permissions by NPCI, as it is authorized to permit UPI-based payment services.
However, the approval for WhatsApp Pay to go live had become complicated due to several issues.
The Story about WhatsApp Supreme Court Verdict:
- NPCI first announced on February 16, 2018, that WhatsApp had been approved for beta testing of its UPI-based service in India for one million users. Soon after, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) wrote a series of letters — first in March and then in May — questioning critical issues such as its compliance with the RBI’s two-factor authentication norms, its user data storage policy and about sharing of data with its parent Facebook.
- In April 2018, the RBI issued a circular mandating data localization by all system providers. Subsequently, in July 2018, Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) — a think tank — filed a petition before the top court seeking that WhatsApp complies with RBI data localization norms and appoint a grievance officer in India.
- In October 2018, WhatsApp said it had complied with all data localization norms, and it’s then CEO Chris Daniels wrote to the RBI seeking permission to roll out the service. RBI then reached out to NPCI and MeitY for their response to the CEO’s email.
- In January 2019, RBI was made a party to the CASC petition and in November that year, the banking regulator stated that WhatsApp was yet to fully comply with its data localization norms. It identified five areas where WhatsApp had to plug the gaps. The instant messaging firm said it would comply with all norms by May this year.
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