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WhatsApp to set up new office in India before official launch of payments service

WhatsApp has been asked to open an office in India if they want to launch the payments feature. The new roadblock for WhatsApp Payments camer after the company's chief operating officer Matt Idema met ministry of electronics and IT.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: August 1, 2018  | 16:28 IST
WhatsApp to set up new office in India before official launch of payments service

WhatsApp has been asked to open an office in India if they want to launch the payments feature. The new roadblock for WhatsApp Payments camer after the company's chief operating officer Matt Idema met ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY).

According to a report on The Economic Times, WhatsApp has been asked by MeitY to establish a physical presence in India. The ministry quoted RBI's guidelines saying the organisation will need to either open a branch or a subsidiary within the country to become operational.

WhatsApp has taken up the task on top priority and is also looking to build a team in India. The company is actively looking for a WhatsApp India Head and Head of Policy. The officials claim that building an office will not only provide a point of contact for grievances but will also inspire confidence in the payments application.

The new feature has been in beta testing since early this year. However, a report from The Economic Times suggests that the company has updated its privacy policy and has added HDFC Bank and Axis Bank to the list of partner banks.  WhatsApp has also quietly removed the mention of its product as beta from its new privacy policy. The feature was expected to launch in the first week of July but the new development could push the deadline further.

WhatsApp has been under the scanner for the payments service both by the government and immediate competition. The company has been questioned over the lack of two-factor authentication and storage of financially sensitive data. WhatsApp, in response, is planning to establish a 24-hour toll-free customer service to deal with queries and complaints.

Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg has grand plans for WhatsApp Payments in India. The 34-year old CEO of the company recently announced the growing interest in the platform. On the other end of the spectrum, the instant messaging application has been getting a lot of flak from Indian government over rising cases of mob lynchings due to fake forwards. The California-based company has introduced features like labeling forwards and even limiting forward messages to five people to deal with the situation.

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