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WhatsApp enables P2P transfers in India

21 February 2018

According to Abbot, there is no "Request Money" feature or additional security measure like "App password" in the WhatsApp digital payment gateway, which is now in its beta version. "The company has custom-implemented UPI to affect the platform's core principle of inter-operability", Abbot said in a statement given to news agency IANS. However, rival digital payments services have pointed out exceptions that have been applied to WhatsApp's service. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm, an India-based payments platform, had recently raised concerns about WhatsApp Payments violating UPI norms.

However, yesterday, NPCI released a statement which supports WhatsApp with their new payments service.

Paytm which is the leader in payments which involve almost 300 million registered users can lose out on most of its customer base if Whatsapp owned by Facebook Inc. pushes its payment service to 230 million people who use the app frequently in order to send pictures, messages, and other things. "Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases [in the coming weeks] and full feature product shall be released after the beta test is successful".

As digital payment provider Paytm and WhatsApp got into a tug of war after the Facebook-owned platform announced a soft launch of its own digital payment service for India, a top Paytm executive said on Thursday that their objection is not about the upcoming competition but lack of fair play. The corporation has approved the beta testing of the UPI-based service but only for one million users and with a restricted transaction limit.

NPCI - an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India - asserted that it follows "well-defined guidelines" for BHIM UPI services with the objective of making its platforms "inter-operable and based on open standards, convenient and secure".

Alleging Facebook of having "arm-twisted" UPI to derive benefits, Sharma had said Facebook was "killing attractive open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation". "The NPCI needs to look at this, they are locking the consumer". "This violation is fundamental and very serious", Paytm said. "We wait to hear NPCI views on some of these missing aspects", the spokesperson added.

WhatsApp enables P2P transfers in India