IT ministry probes into WhatsApp Payments for compliance, security and data privacy

The ministry of electronics and IT has written to NPCI asking further details about the digital payment service being tested by the global messaging app owned by Facebook.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has asked National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to update them on the details about the digital payment service being tested by Facebook-owned global messaging application WhatsApp.

After the Cambridge Analytica debacle the government of India is leaving no stone unturned to secure Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp, which is set to launch its payment service in the country this month. However, it will be interesting to see how WhatsApp’s new payment system will make necessary changes according to India’s data protection and privacy laws. WhatsApp has around 200 million users in India itself.

The other rule which also might haunt the messaging platform is related to storing the data in Indian soil. According to an announcement during the Union Budget, now the companies are required to store data of Indians and related people in Indian soil only.

Since the messaging platform is owned by Facebook, the government of India will be interested also in knowing what data is shared with the Facebook.  

 WhatsApp’s data sharing

The official WhatsApp payment blog has said that they share a limited number of data to United States where their facility and services are established. The official website states that, “If you use Payments, you agree to our data practices, including the collection, use, processing, and sharing of your information as described in our Privacy Policy and our Payments Privacy Policy, as well as the transfer and processing of your information to the United States and other countries globally where we have or use facilities, service providers, or partners, regardless of where you use Payments.

How WhatsApp’s payment scheme works?

Since it is in its beta version, the payment service is available to a limited users only. The payment option is visible under the settings option on the app. On clicking, the user will be directed to a host of banks and wallets. Once the user links his bank account he or she will receive a one-time password to verify his phone number, once the verification done, the user will be able to send money as simple as sending an image or text message.