Nearly one million people across India have been testing the payment service of WhatsApp, and the messaging service said it’s working with the government in India, the National Payments Corporation of India as well as multiple banks to expand the payment feature to more users and to help support the country’s digital economy, said a company spokesperson.
The NPCI has given permission to WhatsApp to hook up with different banks as a way to facilitate more financial transactions through the unified payments interface or UPI.
Earlier in 2018, Vijay Shekhar Sharma the founder of PayTm alleged that the UPI payment platform of WhatsApp contained security risks for the consumer and was not compliant with guidelines set out by the NPCI.
It has been mandated by the Reserve Bank of India that all operators of payment systems in the country most store all their data in just India allowing firms six months to become compliant with the new regulation.
Officials said that the ministry of electronics and IT asked the NPCI to check to see if the payment service from WhatsApp conformed with the RBI regulations and the data security of its customers. The officials said in addition that the NPCI was asked to check that full compliance was in place prior to the messaging app, based in the U.S., being allowed to ramp up its services.
WhatsApp says that the sensitive user data like the final six digits of a payment card as well as the UPI PIN does not get stored. While the company admitted that it was using Facebook infrastructure to operate the service, it assured officials that its parent company does not use the payment data for any commercial purpose.
A WhatsApp spokesperson said that Facebook processed UPI data as a service for WhatsApp and does not use the transaction data from payments on WhatsApp for any commercial purposes.
There has been an increase in concern around how secure the consumer’s data was on a variety of different social media online platforms, especially following the incident of data breach with Facebook where the data of more than 87 million of its users had been harvested in an illegal manner by Cambridge Analytica the political and data analytics consultancy company.