WhatsApp has an estimated user base of over 300 million users in India. Very soon, all of company’s Indian users will be able to use the app for transferring money to their family and friends. As per a new report, WhatsApp has completed the audit process and it is now gearing to launch WhatsApp Payments in India very soon.
People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that WhatsApp has already wrapped up the audit process of the related data practices in India and it is now awaiting approval by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
WhatsApp rolled out WhatsApp Payments to a select user base of 1 million users in India last February. However, the Facebook owned social messaging app ran into regulatory hurdles with the RBI which required for the company to store all payments related data, including the details of the payments and data collected, on the servers located within the country. “For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in the foreign country, if required,” the central bank said as per the report.
The social messaging app, after refusing to comply with RBI’s norms initially, decided to meet the guidelines set by the central bank earlier this year. Since then the company has been busy setting up the infrastructure and meeting other requirements to rollout WhatsApp Payments in India. Now, as per the report by the publication, WhatsApp is preparing to submit an audit report by the third-party auditors to the RBI which proves that the company stores all payments related data in India only. Once the company gets the approval by the RBI, it would be allowed to roll out WhatsApp Payments to all its users in the country.
Notably, WhatsApp has declined to comment on the matter so far. A WhatsApp spokesperson in a statement to Bloomberg said that the company was gearing to providing WhatsApp Payments based on UPI standard to all users in India.
Separately, WhatsApp is expected to rollout WhatsApp Payments in India in partnership with the ICICI bank. The company is likely to add other banks such as the Axis Bank, SBI and the HDFC bank as partners soon.