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CASC files interim application in SC against WhatsApp payments go-ahead

WhatsApp Pay
WhatsApp Pay

Delhi-based thinktank Centre for Accountability and Systemic Change said WhatsApp's "unlawful trials" for its payments services should stop, and that the RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) should put on record the permission granted for the pilot, including all communication between RBI, NPCI and WhatsApp regarding the same. The thinktank said this in an interim application (see below) filed in the Supreme Court on February 10. CASC had petitioned the Supreme Court in July 2018 about WhatsApp’s failure to comply with Indian laws, including its failure to appoint a grievance officer, and this is a fresh application to the existing petition. This development comes after RBI and NPCI have green-lit the launch of WhatsApp's payments service. WhatsApp started a UPI payments service pilot in February 2018, in partnership with ICICI Bank. We have reached out to WhatsApp for comment, and shall update the story when they respond. The application alleged that WhatsApp Pay is in violation of RBI's data localisation norms issued in April 2018, and does not have a local office or a grievance officer in India. It further prayed that the Supreme Court should look “into the behind the door activities of the Respondents”. It added: "WhatsApp is in violation of data localization norms as per RBI [but] is clandestinely continuing beta testing of its Payments Systems on one million Indian users. Moreover, it has now been reported that WhatsApp Pay will be rolled out to more customers, despite there being no report submitted to this court about WhatsApp''s full…

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