November 04, 2019

RBI’s ‘Extra Steps’ May Delay WhatsApp Payment Launch After Government Raises Concerns About Data Safety Risks

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The launch of WhatsApp’s payment feature in India is likely to get delayed after the government has approached the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) about potential financial data safety risks after the recent hacking of the messaging app.

As a result, the launch of WhatsApp’s digital payment service India is likely to get delayed if the RBI decides to take extra steps in order to ensure that security of financial data is not breached due to hacking.

It may be recalled that Facebook-owned WhatsApp has always maintained that its platform is secure due to its end-to-end encryption.

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had stated that WhatsApp is optimistic about launching its digital payment service in India by the end of this year, even as the company has been testing its payment service in India since 2018.

The controversy began after WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in a US court against the Israeli company NSO on October 29, within days of the Supreme Court of India allowing the central government to issue intermediary guidelines in three months.

The intermediary guidelines are expected to allow the government to legally bind WhatsApp and any other messaging platform to tracing the source of any message on their platforms.

However, WhatsApp has resisted this, claiming that tracing the source of messages would be impossible without compromising the encryption which supposedly guarantees privacy of its users.

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