WhatsApp is taking a big step forward by piloting their Payments feature in India. The feature has been in Beta since February and is being tested by around a million users across the country. The formal launch was expected to happen at the beginning of June and then later was postponed by few weeks. However, it seems that the wait has no end in sight.A report by The Economic Times claims that the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has failed to respond to critical queries regarding the WhatsApp Payments feature that is based on UPI. The queries were sent by the ministry of electronics and information technology earlier this month.
The report suggests that the ministry is having trouble understanding the new payment method. The NPCI is yet to clarify whether the new WhatsApp UPI payment method is violating any RBI rules. Since there is no deadline provided by NPCI, the waiting period may stretch longer than expected.
Paytm, the immediate competitor of WhatsApp's new feature is concerned about the security of WhatsApp Payments. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, a vocal critique of WhatsApp Payments, had earlier said WhatsApp is openly colonising our payment system and is customising UPI to their benefit and arm-twisting it for customer implementation. He said a lack of login makes WhatsApp Payments an "open ATM" to everyone and is a security risk.
However, WhatsApp is positive about its service. The company countered the concerns about the security flaws by claiming that no financially sensitive data will be stored. Secondly, whatever payments data they use or send to Facebook will not be used for commercial purposes.
To create a favourable atmosphere after the official launch, WhatsApp has also set up a 24-hour customer support for all users planning to use these services. The new customer service can be accessed by a toll-free number and even by e-mails."We will provide 24-hour customer support. Payments users can contact the support team via e-mail and a toll-free number (when the service is rolled out in India)," a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI. Given the reach of the application, WhatsApp will be providing their services in four languages which include English, Hindi, Gujarati, and Marathi.