WhatsApp says one million users testing payment feature; will launch after RBI approval
Messaging platform WhatsApp has told the Supreme Court that it will comply with all guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before the much-awaited launch of WhatsApp Pay later this year in India. The Facebook-owned company further said the system is currently being tested and the entire process will be completed by July. All RBI guidelines will be followed before its launch, a media report on Saturday quoted the company as saying.
The matter came up for hearing in the top court after a petitioner in a PIL sought directions for the messaging platform to comply with RBI rules before launching the service. WhatsApp said it is currently testing the system to identify the problem areas, and it will be launched after it gets final approval from the government. Around one million users are testing the feature on a trial basis, it said. The company had initially planned to launch WhatsApp Pay in June this year; however, the pending test-run and confusion over data protection laws have reportedly pushed the deadline further. India is the largest market for WhatsApp, accounting for 200 million user base.
Hearing the PIL, the Supreme Court bench said there’s nothing to worry as there is adequate measure for customers’ protection. As per the RBI guidelines, the global payment services companies are required to store transaction data of Indian customers in the country itself. This would allow RBI to have free access to all customer data for administrative purposes. WhatsApp has also assured the RBI that its payment system will store all customer data locally. In a statement, WhatsApp had also said that as it expands its payment service it will also help contribute to the country’s financial inclusion goals. The apex court is expected to hear the case in July next.