Digital payments major Paytm has directly accused Google Pay of sharing customer data with third party users apart from its own affiliate companies. This complaint has been made in a detailed letter sent by Paytm addressed to the Chief Executive of National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI).
According to an Economic Times report, Paytm accuses Google Pay of being an unregulated platform and it is capable of using the data to promote its products and businesses through advertisements. They have asked NCPI to immediately intervene and stop this practice since it is in violation of the terms imposed by the regulators including RBI for digital wallets.
It has warned that if the security of these data were to be breached, it could lead to serious complications. Paytm has gone on to point out that the case of WhatsApp Pay where it was found to be sharing data with its parent company Facebook is not quite different from what Google is up to now and since WhatsApp was directed not to share data, the same should apply to Google Pay as well, Paytm has argued in its complaint letter.
ET claims in its report that it has indeed received a response in this issue from Google where the US technology giant has refuted the allegations. It has explained in its response that when an account holder on the Google Pay platform opens an account, it lies with Google LLC and in order to monitor, check frauds and for other security reasons, Google does carryout certain activities and at no stage these data are used for advertisements or for monetary benefits.
It remains to be seen what position NPCI takes on the issue. With the market for digital payments heating up, is this seen as a reaction by the leader so far, Paytm, feeling threatened or is there a genuine case to act? This is especially important since Paytm had questioned WhatsApp when it launched its services and it had said it is denying a level playing field by allowing such global giants to operate in the fledgling Indian market.
The issue of data being shared by these digital wallet companies, however, cannot be simply brushed under the carpet. The country is yet to have an evolved policy/law covering data protection. Even if it does not go the drastic way adopted by the European Union, corporate entities collecting personal information from their customers online must be protected at all costs.