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With former Visa Indian head in a fray, hunt for WhatsApp UPI boss continues


With more than 260 million monthly active users in India, WhatsApp has been facing a tough time since beta testing of yet to be launched UPI service. Now the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform is looking to rope in Visa India’s former head Uttam Nayak to head WhatsApp Pay.

For its first full-time hire in the country, WhatsApp has been scouting for a suitable candidate over a month to head its India operations. This is a crucial time for the freeware platform which is time and again targeted by its would-be counterparts especially Paytm.

Last month, the company had posted a job description saying that it is seeking a person for a senior leadership position to lead products for people and businesses along with peer to peer payments. The country head would be based in Mumbai and report to Matt Idema, WhatsApp’s Chief Operating Officer based in California.

Nayak who had played a leading role in M-Visa, is currently looking into Visa’s emerging markets as senior vice-president (digital) based out of the Middle East. He was among those shortlisted to head the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

The dilly-dallying of WhatsApp UPI story has become a two-sided story. First, its own discrepancies and the other being a tirade fuelled by Paytm’s supremo Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Besides allegation of alleged leeway given by NPCI to roll out payments operation in India, WhatsApp also facing a flak from Sharma on the ground that it may put India’s financial data at risk.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has caught up regulators including RBI, NPCI, and MeitY attention over the issue of data sharing with parent entity Facebook and banking partner ICICI Bank.

In the last one month, the company is also facing a major reshuffle at the top and operational level after its CEO Jan Koum quit over disagreement overs Facebook’s privacy and encryption policy. However, within a week, Facebook announced Koum’s replacement and elevated Chris Daniels as the new VP of WhatsApp.

The development was reported by ET.

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