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No payment service without SC compliance: WhatsApp

WhatsApp was granted a beta licence to launch its payment service in 2018, but they have not launched a dedicated and separate app yet.
WhatsApp was granted a beta licence to launch its payment service in 2018, but they have not launched a dedicated and separate app yet. (Pixabay)

There is a petition that is seeking a ban on WhatsApp Pay as it does not conform to data localisation norms

WhatsApp has assured the Supreme Court that it will not roll out its payment services without complying with all regulations and norms of the country first. According to reports, a bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices Indu Malhotra and Hrishikesh Roy took up the matter through video conferencing.

The matter involved a petition seeking a ban on payments made through WhatsApp since it does not “conform to the data localisation norms”.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who was representing WhatsApp, said - "WhatsApp Inc makes a statement on behalf of his client that they will not go ahead with the payments' scheme without complying with all the regulations in force."

The apex court has taken the assurance made by WhatsApp on record.

WhatsApp was granted a beta licence to launch its payment service in 2018, but they have not launched a dedicated and separate app yet. A petition was moved in the apex court that “WhatsApp's existing model for its payments service should be declared inconsistent with the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) Scheme, as a separate dedicated app has not been offered by the company”.

The petitioner NGO, the Good Governance Chambers, argued that the “National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) must change its model on the lines of the UPI payment scheme, and its operations may be suspended until these conditions are met”.

SC has asked the Centre, Facebook and WhatsApp to file their replies within three weeks and it will take up the matter thereafter.

The apex court noted that the government may process the applications filed by WhatsApp in accordance with the law and there is no stay on the same. Facebook was represented by senior advocate Arvind Datar.

(With agency inputs)

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