WhatsApp is set to rock the digital payments space in India from today with the launch of WhatsApp Pay. WhatsApp Pay will be using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a real-time payments system supported by more than 160 banks in India to run this new feature. With this update, we can expect to see WhatsApp taking on industry veterans like Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm. WhatsApp Pay will be initially available to 2 crore WhatsApp users in India. The number of users is being limited as per the cap laid down by the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI). WhatsApp Pay has the option of expanding its user base in a phased manner.
WhatsApp’s payment features have been suspended in Brazil less than one month after the Facebook-owned app rolled them out. The Central Bank of Brazil (BC) took action against WhatsApp Pay “to preserve an adequate competitive environment” and allow the central bank to assess the risks posed by the firm to the country’s existing financial sector. Visa and Mastercard will face heavy fines and administrative sanctions if they do not suspend activities relating to WhatsApp payments.
Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC), a think tank that had filed a public interest litigation before the Supreme Court last year against WhatsApp Pay, has sought an immediate rollback of the messaging app’s pilot project, which enables WhatsApp to extend the trial to 10 million users. It is submitted that in any case, there cannot be any blanket permission for trials, and same should be restricted by duration, number of banks involved and monetary limits. WhatsApp on many occasions has claimed compliance with RBI data localization norms, even though RBI’s affidavit clearly proves that it is not the case,” the application stated