The think tank has appealed to halt operations until the RBI confirms that the conditions for digital payments apps have been fully met.

Think tank files plea with Supreme Court to stop rollout of WhatsApp Pay
Money Fintech Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 18:23

After a long wait, WhatsApp Pay finally received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India to launch across the country, but it may have another setback if the Supreme Court of India takes cognizance of an appeal filed against it by the Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), reported the Economic Times.  

CASC, a think tank has appealed to stop WhatsApp Pay from continuing operations until the Reserve Bank of India confirms that the conditions imposed by it for the digital payments apps have been fully met.

RBI had notified certain conditions to be met by the players if they want to operate a digital payments app. This includes creating the infrastructure within India to store the data collected from Indian customers. At best, a copy of the data can be stored in their overseas servers.

CASC claims WhatsApp has not complied with this instruction. It has cited an RBI affidavit in November, where it has been stated that the company is yet to be in full compliance. CASC’s point in contention is WhatsApp has been operating a payments business on a trial basis in India with 1 million of its 400 million subscribers. It recently obtained an approval to raise this number to 10 million by NPCI that controls the Unified Payments Interface or UPI, the payment gateway adopted by WhatsApp Pay.

CASC wants the Supreme Court to lay down further curbs, like limiting the number of banks allowed to handle the payments and a fixed timeframe for the trial operations to last, etc..

CASC has also pointed out to the court that WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, has already had a few cases of serious data breaches on its platform and therefore, unless the data security of millions of Indian customers of WhatsApp pay is not secured, it should not be allowed to carry on the payments app business.

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