WhatsApp seeks RBI nod to expand its payment services

WhatsApp seeks RBI nod to expand its payment services

BE/RBI NOTE/52/2018

WhatsApp has sought permission of Reserve Bank of India, in order to expand its payment services.  It is felt that their offerings will improve through financial inclusion.

  • The Chief of WhatsApp has written to the Reserve Bank of India of India (RBI),  seeking a formal nod to expand payments services to all its 200 million users in India.
  • The messaging app, which has drawn fire from the Government over the spread of fake messages on its platform, still waits for a regulatory clearance to launch full­fledgedpayments operations in India  months after its ‘testing’  amassed nearly one million users — and almost two years since its first began discussions with the Government on its payments services plans.
  • The development comes at a time when competitors such as Google have forged ahead with their payments offerings.

Piloting payments

  • The messaging service is currently piloting WhatsApp payments, and its chief Chris Daniels has now written to RBI urging that a formal approval be granted to take the payments product to all its users in the country. The letter reads:

    “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. inclusion.”

  • The letter also states that WhatsApp’s partner banks have also submitted a request for formal approval.


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