Payment Methods

WhatsApp Asks RBI To Expand Payment Services In India

WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, is seeking approval from the Reserve Bank of India to extend its digital payments service to all of the residents of India.

According to a report in BGR, WhatsApp chief executive Chris Daniels wrote to the RBI urging it to grant formal approval so that its payment service can be used across India. Its test in India resulted in WhatsApp gaining close to a million users. “I write to request your formal approval to immediately expand WhatsApp’s BHIM UPI (Unified Payments Interface) compliant payments product to all users in India, giving us the opportunity to offer a useful and secure service that can improve the lives of Indian people through digital empowerment and financial inclusion,” Daniels said in the letter addressed to the RBI Governor, reported BGR. The letter was dated November 5 and includes the fact that WhatsApp’s partner banks have also requested formal approval from RBI.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told BGR it is working closely with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and multiple banks, including payment service providers, to expand the service to more people and support the digital economy in India. “Today, almost one million people are testing WhatsApp payments in India. The feedback has been very positive, and people enjoy the convenience of sending money as simply and securely as sending messages,” the company’s spokesperson said.

In the letter Daniels highlights the fact the company quickly moved to ensure payments data is stored locally in India immediately after the new rule was issued by RBI. The executive also called for a “level playing field” for all digital payment companies, including “a certain and transparent regulatory and operating environment.” It also noted that small business owners benefit from the digital tool. “Based on feedback from NPCI and our bank partners, we are confident that we are fully compliant with the UPI checklist, have made all necessary submissions and have passed the security audits required to launch WhatsApp Payments,” Daniels said. The report noted that its not clear if the RBI responded to the letter.

 

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