WhatsApp’s much-awaited payments launch in India has hit many regulatory roadblocks in the past. However, the company has moved a step closer to launch, as the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has certified that WhatsApp is now in compliance with data-localization norms.
As per a report by Times of India, in a court filing last month, NPCI told India’s top bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), that the Facebook-owned app is now complying with all norms. Last year, RBI had asked NPCI to ensure that WhatsApp meets all requirements.
WhatsApp started its payments services as a trial more than two years ago in India, and has since been in the test mode with a million users.
Now, the company will have to wait for the final nod from RBI and the government to kick off its payment services for its 400 million users in India. It has already started a new project on exploring ways to make financial services such as credit and insurance available to WhatsApp users. We’ve reached out to WhatsApp to know more, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.
According to a TechCrunch report published in June, Google Pay is India’s leading mobile payment app with more than 75 million users followed by Walmart-owned PhonePe. Both these apps rely on Unified Payments Interface (UPI); WhatsApp’s system is based on same the protocols as well.
Last week, WhatsApp India’s head, Abhijit Bose, said that the platform can bring at least 200 million more customers to UPI. Now, we’ll have to wait and see when the company finally launches its service.