WhatsApp Pay

WhatsApp Pay is a UPI[1] based payment system by which you can send or receive money. It is an in-chat Payment feature that allows all the users to do transaction via WhatsApp to their contact list. It was developed by The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)[2] for the users of India. WhatsApp has its about 400 Million Users in India and in February 2018 it launches WhatsApp Pay as a trial run. WhatsApp tested its payments service with the help of National Corporation Payments of India with a million users for testing but due to petitions filed against WhatsApp trial was not go for the next stage. WhatsApp is not following the Guidelines and Norms of the RBI, so WhatsApp is unable to launch its payment services. Now WhatsApp Pay said to Supreme Court that it is not launching its payment gateway before it is not following guidelines of RBI.

Introduction

WhatsApp pay is an in-chat payment feature introduced by National Payments Corporation of India for the Users of India to transact money to their contacts. WhatsApp Pay is a UPI based payment system which allows users to transact money. WhatsApp Pay is Introduced in many countries like Brazil and other countries and they are doing well but now it wants to introduce it in India because India has a lot of its users. The reviews of Many countries are positive, and it is working with the local banks of Brazil including Banco do Brazil, Nubank, Sicredi as well as Cielo.

It is very easy to use WhatsApp Pay for the users because it is a very easy process. You must have the latest update of the WhatsApp, then set up your payment option by following given steps: –

  • You have to click on the three dots placed on the right corner on top of the screen.
  • Then click on the payment option.
  • Then you need to verify your phone number.
  • Then you select UPI Payments and select a bank which allows UPI payments from the list.
  • Then select the bank account linked to your phone number.
  • Now your bank account is added to the WhatsApp payment interface.
  • Now from the chats you have to click on any chat then go to attachments and select the payment option.
  • Then enter an amount and write your UPI pin and click on the send option.
  • Now your transaction is complete.

WhatsApp has a lot of features and advantages such as you can send money via WhatsApp from anywhere and at any time with the help of network with the few taps. The only restriction is that you can send money to a person who is in your contact list. It is a User-friendly[3] ‘pay’ feature which is very easy in use. The sender and receiver both get a notification on the chat window after the transaction is done. There is no need for the IFSC Code[4] for the users. Users may transfer money between accounts easily without going to banks or now there is no need to line up in the banks. It prevents us from physically preventing touching cash which carries a lot of germs and bacteria. For merchants, a payment system on WhatsApp is very beneficial. Having an online payment system opens up opportunities for them to fulfil orders. WhatsApp Pay is a very easy and compatible payment system.

First of all, it is introduced in February 2018 which is developed by NPCI. In the starting, it runs on a trial basis with a million users out of 400 million users in India. But the trial was not successful because WhatsApp declines to follow the guidelines and norms of Reserve Bank of India. Out of this people do not show interest in this payment feature because you cannot send money to an unknown person like on Grocery shop, petrol pump, toll tax, etc. Many organisations raised their hands against this payment feature because it may lead to leak of financial information and other data. Many appeals raised in courts regarding this feature that not to allow WhatsApp to start its payment feature. About a year ago the government had come out with a set of data localisation norms to ensure that data of the company will not go outside the country.

In the higher court, a Writ Petition[5] is filed by NGO Good Governance Chambers to not allow WhatsApp and Facebook to start payment option because it declines to follow the guidelines and norms of the RBI. They appeal that that using WhatsApp Pay may lead to the leak of financial information of users. In the reference of the writ, court issued a notice to Reserve Bank of India and National Payments Corporation of India to check about the Issue. Court ordered to RBI to check the convenience of the Payment system but before the decision of Reserve Bank of India comes WhatsApp declared to Supreme Court that it is not launching the payment feature in India.

In the Matter of Centre of Accountability and Systemic Change (C.A.S.C.) v. Union of India and Others[i] about a year ago when WhatsApp launching its UPI payments, Indian Government had established some norms to ensure that the data of the company is not going out of the country. In the writ petition, two major questions raised one is that WhatsApp is not complying with the norms of the RBI and the other is the lack of the Grievance Officer was brought to light. These two questions are the main purpose of the writ petition. It is found that WhatsApp had hired Komal Lahiri as a local Grievance Officer. The main issue is the norms of the RBI because WhatsApp is not complying with them.

The point which is the issue from the RBI norms is of data localisation. RBI told by an affidavit that WhatsApp is not complying with the data localisation norms in India. Even though it set up a mechanism to store copies of the data in the country, but the data is still available on the data servers abroad. With this, RBI is also looking to expedite the process of compliance with the data localisation norms without affecting the user experience on the applications and services, reports ET. The Apex bank in India had established its norms on April 6 that data of the users shall ‘ONLY’ be stored in India but the Payment Companies Requested to remove the only word but the Reserve Bank of India declined to their request.

Conclusion

WhatsApp Pay is a UPI based Payment feature which allows its users to transact money from one account to another to a person in the chat list. This feature is developed by National Payments Corporation of India in India with the help of Facebook. WhatsApp Pay was first introduced in February 2018 in India as a trial run with a million of users. WhatsApp has 400 million users all over India which is a massive quantity for any messaging app. Trial Run of WhatsApp Pay was not successful because it does not comply with the norms of the Apex bank of India i.e. RBI. WhatsApp declined to follow the norms and Guidelines of RBI, so its Payment feature was not successful in India. Now WhatsApp said to Supreme Court that it is not launching its Payment feature in India before following the guidelines of the RBI. At all, we can send money via WhatsApp only to the persons who are in your chat list and this is the reason due to which people is not excited to use this feature.

FAQs

Which Payment Method does WhatsApp Pay use?

WhatsApp Pay uses UPI to transfer bank-to-bank money. Unified Payments Interface is a Payment System developed by NPCI and support most major banks in India.

Where You Get A Notification of Transaction in WhatsApp?

You can get the notification of sending and receiving money on the chat window of the contact with which you transact.

Does WhatsApp Ask for UPI Pin When We Send Money?

Yes, WhatsApp asks for UPI pin like other apps when we transact money like other payment apps.

Is the IFSC Code Used by WhatsApp?

No, there is no need for users to have the IFSC code.

Does WhatsApp Verify Your Mobile No Before Adding A Bank Account to Payment Option?

WhatsApp verifies your mobile no. when you add an account to payments option of your WhatsApp.

References


[1] Unified Payments Interface is an immediate real-time payment system that helps in Instantly transferring of money between two bank accounts with the help of mobile.

[2] It is an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India.

[3] Easy to use or understand.

[4] It is an 11-character code helps identify the individual bank branches that participate in the various online money transfer options.

[5] It is an order issued by a higher court to lower court to do something or not to do something.


[i] Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) v. Ministry of Home Affairs, WP (Civil) Dairy No. 10793/2020.

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