WhatsApp UPI spat: Mass rollout possible only after complete compliance, clarifies NPCI

WhatsApp

With over 250 million userbase WhatsApp could not have imagined for more buzz than the present scenario. Since its soft launch in India, the UPI enabled platform owned by Facebook has drawn support as well as allegations from digital payment space

WhatsApp along with Facebook have been criticised by Vijay Shekhar Sharma for their alleged wrong tactics to promote the UPI-powered digital payment product in India.

Now National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, has taken the matter to the table and announced that every participating organisation has to follow well defined UPI guidelines and stick to the aim of making the platform interoperable, reports ET.

NPCI also emphasised that any UPI-enabled app can only go for mass public launch when it incorporates interoperability (fund transfer from one UPI account to another irrespective of bank and wallet accounts) and capable of generating  BharatQR codes

The retail payment watchdog made clear that the WhatsApp UPI beta launch is limited to a user base of 1 million and provided with low per transaction limit. Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature of WhatsApp payment shall be released after the beta test is successful.

The spat started with a tweet from One97 Communication chief executive, who targeted the foreign entity with accusations of regulatory manipulation.

Following the tirade from Sharma, other entrepreneurs in digital payment space expressed shock as well as took a jive on his remarks about WhatsApp enabled UPI platform.

Scathing Facebook’s repeated attempts to circumvent regulatory guidelines and harm open source culture, Sharma has termed Facebook as the evilest firm in the world.

He also questioned on the matter that foreign companies like Google, Facebook and WhatsApp have been given leeway to operate their service in India, on the other hand, incumbent players have to follow the government’s stringent rule step by step.

Meanwhile, Vice President and Global Head of Business at WhatsApp Neeraj Arora, who had been a member of Paytm’s board of directors since June 2015 resigned from the company. The resignation has come on the heels of Sharma tweets about WhatsApp UPI.

Though, the Noida-based company claimed that Arora had left firm’s board a week before the controversy surfaced.

Soon after the NPCI statement, Paytm’s founder tweeted again saying that “I hope full obligation of BHIM like security and tx data sovereignty too will be implemented before full launch.”

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