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WhatsApp updates privacy policy, may allow payments across UPI apps

WhatsApp updates privacy policy, may allow payments across UPI apps
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp may soon start offering interoperability between other BHIM-UPI apps on its platform, a report in The Economic Times stated.

The development comes as WhatsApp updated its privacy policy over concerns about user data, the report added.

Facebook has delayed the launch of the WhatsApp payment service in the aftermath of the massive Cambridge Analytica data scandal in April, which saw information on 87 million users being leaked without consent.

WhatsApp confirmed to ET that it does use the Facebook platform to provide payments services in India, but said that the user data is encrypted and will not be used for commercial ends, the report stated.

“We have permission from NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and our bank partners to use Facebook as a service provider. WhatsApp is using Facebook payment infrastructure to enable the payments feature. Facebook does not use WhatsApp payment information for commercial purposes, it simply helps pass the necessary payment information to the PSPs,” a WhatsApp spokesperson was quoted as telling ET.

The Facebook-owned company is currently working with ICICI Bank for mobile payments and is also looking to partner with other banks such as HDFC Bank, SBI Bank and Axis Bank for payments, the report added.

While WhatsApp, which has close to 250 million users in India, clarified that it doesn't store customer details, bankers say that these data points might be used by the company for marketing or enhancing its business strategy, ET reported.

In June, the company had reiterated its stand that it shares limited data with Facebook. “Facebook does not use WhatsApp payment information for commercial purposes, it simply helps pass the necessary payment information to the bank partner and NPCI,” reads a statement on the FAQ section of WhatsApp’s website.

Earlier this month, ET had reported that the Union IT ministry had sent a letter to the NPCI seeking detailed explanations about how the popular messaging app was planning to store payments data and what it plans to share with Facebook.

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