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WhatsApp chief writes to RBI, seeks nod to expand payment services in India

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Expanding payments services to its 200 million users in India, WhatsApp chief has written a letter to Reserve Bank of India (RBI), seeking a formal nod.

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The Facebook Owned company has drawn fire from the government over spreading fake news on its platforms. The development comes at a time when its competitors have forged ahead with their payment offerings.

The messaging app is currently regulating WhatsApp payments and for that its Chief Chris Daniels wrote a letter to RBI asserting that a formal approval to be given to take the payments product to all its 200 million users across the country.

WhatsApp wrote in its letter to RBI, “I write to request your formal approval to immediately expand WhatsApp’s BHIM UPI (Unified Payments Interface) compliant payments product to all users in India, giving us the opportunity to offer a useful and secure service that can improve the lives of Indian people through digital empowerment and financial inclusion.”

Also read: WhatsApp chief business officer Neeraj Arora quits

The letter dated November 5, mentioning that WhatsApp’s partner banks have also submitted a request for formal approval.

When news agency PTI contacted, a WhatsApp spokesperson said that the platform is working closely with the Indian government, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and multiple banks, including payment service providers to expand the feature to more people and support the country’s digital economy.

“Today, almost 1 million people are testing WhatsApp payments in India. The feedback has been very positive, and people enjoy the convenience of sending money as simply and securely as sending messages,” the company’s spokesperson said, responding to a specific email query on the recent plea to the RBI.

In its letter, WhatsApp noted that the platform had rushed to ensure that the payments data is stored in India, immediately after the RBI came out with a directive outlining the new payments data storage requirements in April this year.

“Today, (the) RBI has unfettered supervisory access to payments data as prescribed by the RBI circular,” said the letter.

Also read: WhatsApp appoints Abhijit Bose as country head

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