New Delhi: Facebook-owned messaging app Whatsapp, may soon start rolling out WhatsApp Pay, a UPI-based payments service, in a phased manner in India. A new report claims that WhatsApp Pay has received National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) permission to operate the payment service in a phased manner.WhatsApp Payments entered beta testing in India a few years back when the company revealed that it rolled out the feature to select users. The UPI-based payment system by WhatsApp was initially called WhatsApp Payments; however, if a new report is to be believed, then it has been rebranded to WhatsApp Pay – similar to Facebook Pay which was announced in November last year.Business Standard in a report citing a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive claims that WhatsApp Pay will be available to 10 million users in India as part of the “first phase”. The messaging app is reportedly working to meet compliance requirements pointed out by local authorities. The news about the phased rollout of WhatsApp Pay comes within weeks after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the company’s earnings call hinted that WhatsApp would be rolling out the feature soon.In August last year, RBI was asked by the Supreme Court of India whether WhatsApp had complied with norms for launching a payment service in the country. The messaging app had to comply with the RBI’s data localisation norms and had even to submit a compliance report. The court in August 2019 was hearing a petition filed by Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change (CASC) which claimed that WhatsApp had over 20 crore active payment service users.
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