Demanding more details about its payment services (WhatsApp Pay), the government of India has put Whatsapp payment service nationwide launch on hold.
India govt holds WhatsApp payment service nationwide launch, demands more details
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology or MEITY has asked the messaging platform about how it is going to store users data and details about the payments system, said a Bloomberg report.
The ministry has also asked NPCI to ensure WhatsApp is fully compliant with its requirement.
The development has come at a time when the Facebook-owned firm is embroiled in a controversy over fake news leading to mob lynching episodes.
However, a WhatsApp spokeswoman said that the firm is working closely with the Indian government, NPCI and multiple banks including our payment service providers to expand the feature to more people.
The delay comes just as WhatsApp has been embroiled in a controversy over lynchings in the country. Doctored images and fake videos on the messaging platform of child abductions have gone viral in rural areas, whipping up mobs who have beaten and lynched about two dozen Indians.
On Thursday, MEITY warned in a statement the company faces legal action for abetting violence if it doesn’t act. WhatsApp didn’t respond to requests for comment on the Ministry’s statement.
Meanwhile, the messaging platform was expected to expand the service nationwide last month. With 230 million users, Whatsapp payment service will pose threat to its rivals such as Paytm, Google’s Tez and Truecaller. According to experts, Whatsapp with its huge user base will be more effective.
Earlier, its rival Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had alleged that the messaging platform is a security risk to India.
“Everyone should be allowed to play the field. But no one should arm twist and tweak rules to suit their designs. I have always maintained that WhatsApp is a major security risk to India,” he said in an interview to BS.
In February, WhatsApp launched UPI-enabled payment feature to select users, however, it’s restricting the transfer of money largely among WhatsApp users and not enabling the movement of funds to other UPI IDs.