It looks like what WhatsApp will have to delay its launch in India. According to a recent Tech Wire Asia article,
“The country’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, or MEITY, has asked WhatsApp and its partner banks to supply more details about the payments system.”
In addition, “MEITY has also asked WhatsApp to get a clean chit from the organization overseeing the country’s payments solutions, the National Payments Corporation of India.”
The delay of the payments app launch will hopefully give the regulatory bodies involved more time to better understand what data WhatsApp is collecting and how that data is being used. The delay of the launch is also probably a reaction to another WhatsApp application of group chats that has recently come under fire as being used as a platform to insight lynch mobs. As bbc.com reports, arrests have been made of group chat admins from WhatsApp.
“With at least 200 million monthly active users in the country, WhatsApp often finds itself at the centre of these arrests. Authorities say the measures are in place to prevent social media users inciting violence, such as the spate of killings that have spread across India in the last few months. Critics say there is a trend for police to use the law to suppress free speech.”
The WhatsApp payment application does have many benefits such as enabling users to send money to one another just as easily as their shared messages. This would give users the ability to split bills and remit payments directly on the chat application. But app does have a major drawbacks and security flaw, as pointed out in the Tech Wire Asia article by the founder of paytm.
“WhatsApp lacks a login-feature which makes WhatsApp Payments an “open ATM” to everyone, and thus, a security risk.”
As the WhatsApp payment feature moves forward on its delayed launch it will be interesting to see how users react to this news and if the application will have as much or more success than the current WhatsApp Business Payment platform.
Overview by PaymentsJournal.com