WhatsApp, the instant messaging app in India is doing a lot of work lately. It is striving hard to get its most anticipated feature up and running. The company is owned by Facebook and it is having problems of its own in India. Apart from the misinformation, which has been discussed over and over again, the company is facing problems with its payments feature. There were rumors that it is facing a problem to localize the payments data in India and it is true to a certain extent.
WhatsApp Pay is a product which the company is trying to get online as soon as possible but it is stuck in the beta testing stages for a long time now. The fact that it is failing to localize the data in India is surprising, to say the least. That being said, NPCI, National Payments Corporation of India which looks after the Unified Payments Interface, has made it mandatory for all the digital payments platforms to localize the payments data in India. Not only that but the payments platforms also have to get their books audited by a third party and the auditors should be CERT-IN impaneled auditors.
That being said, WhatsApp has been testing its platforms with over 700 thousand people. However, NPCI has only allowed the American company only a small amount of transfers. The big amount of transfers will come with time. WhatsApp Pay also uses UPI and will be a direct rival to Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm and other small-time digital payments applications.
Meanwhile, there are birds chirping about WhatsApp Pay taking a long time to localize the data. There are rumors that WhatsApp will take around five months to localize the entire data and only then the app will be cleared to launch its payments facility for the Indians. So, people anticipating WhatsApp Pay immediately will have to understand that it is going to take a lot of time.
There are bankers too, who know a lot about the ongoing development of this. There are a couple of bankers close to ET who talked about the same. They said that the company has started working on provisions for data localization. The third-party audit also needs to be finished and the technical aspects of the payments application also require concrete testing.
One of the bankers was quoted saying by ET, “WhatsApp may have started working on creating provisions to store payments data within the country, but to finish the third-party audit and to comply with all technical requirements, it will easily take time till August or September.”
This means that there will be no WhatsApp Pay until the fag end of the year. All the other applications will, until then, move forward by a mile. It will be hard for WhatsApp to cope with the competition then.