The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has given approval for WhatsApp to go live on UPI in the multi-bank model. However, there are some restrictions and NPCI is allowing WhatsApp to expand its UPI user base in a graded manner. “WhatsApp can expand its UPI user base in a graded manner starting with a maximum registered user base of twenty (20) million in UPI,” said NPCI in an official statement.
Earlier in June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a filing with the Supreme Court mentioned that NPCI had confirmed that WhatsApp is ‘fully compliant’ with data-localisation norms.
The Facebook-owned messaging app had hired Deloitte to audit its compliance with data-localisation norms in India. A letter to the RBI read, “NPCI has reviewed the ‘Post-Change Review Report III’ certified by the independent third-party CERT-In empanelled auditor of WhatsApp — Deloitte. We submit herewith that we derive comfort from the reports submitted by Deloitte with regards to WhatsApp’s full compliance in the remaining three points on data storage guidelines issued by our office and accordingly complies with all five points in lines with requirements advised through your (RBI) letter dated November 1, 2019.”
WhatsApp Payments is already live for some users in India as part of its pilot stage. The pilot stage trials were restricted to 1 million users for two years. However, it would be interesting to see when RBI gives a final go ahead for WhatsApp to formally launch its payments services in the country.
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