WhatsApp has set up data storage facilities within India for its payment company according to two knowledgeable individuals, paving the way for the Facebook-owned messaging app to launch full-fledged digital payment services. The development marks a significant milestone for the banking regulator of the nation, which has been firm in demanding that global payment firms store transaction data related to Indian customers within the nation.
WhatsApp is anticipated to go live with its ICICI Bank-based Unified Payments Interface service, services are probable to follow through Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, and Indian State Bank, said one individual cited above.
“WhatsApp finished the required information localization job and switched to the audit phase, once the auditors send the report to the regulator the business is able to go live with their payment request,” a source informed ET.
The Reserve Bank of India needs payment firms to set up data storage facilities in India first and then submit an audit report to the Central Bank. Only auditors with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT-IN, are required to conduct the audit.
WhatsApp had attempted to launch its payment function in February of last year in collaboration with ICICI Bank, but had to restrict it only to a beta service.
Earlier this year, internet retail giant Amazon adhered to information localization rules and went live with its UPI-based payment service in collaboration with Axis Bank. According to the latest information shared by NPCI, there are 39 third-party apps such as Google Pay, Amazon, Uber and Ola Cabs that access UPI as a payment platform. Approximately 733.5 million transactions were recorded through the platform in May for a complete value of Rs 1.5 lakh crore. UPI has witnessed severe competition with players such as Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm.