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WhatsApp Gearing-up for Launch of Payments Service

WhatsApp Payments will soon reach customers and the company is gearing up for the launch with a 24-hour customer support for all users planning to use these services. The instant messaging application has been running the feature for over a million users in the Beta mode.

The new customer service can be accessed by a toll-free number and even by e-mails. “We will provide 24-hour customer support. Payments users can contact the support team via e-mail and a toll-free number (when the service is rolled out in India),” a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI.

Given the reach of the application, WhatsApp will be providing their sevices in four languages which includes English, Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi. Despite rolling out these new services, WhatsApp hasn’t declared a formal date of launch for the payment service. However, reports suggested that this new feature will start rolling out in a few weeks.

The company has also updated its terms and conditions before the launch. WhatsApp has declared that it is updating its terms of service and privacy policy to “reflect the addition of payment interoperability features” ahead of the full-fledged launch of the Payments service.

The instant messaging company is working closely with the National Payments Corporation of India and multiple banks to increase the number of digital transactions in India.

Considering the reach of the application in India, the payments app is expected to take off quickly. However, there have growing concerns about the security aspect of the feature. Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, a vocal critique of WhatsApp Payments, had earlier said WhatsApp is openly colonising our payment system and is customising UPI to their benefit and arm-twisting it for customer implementation. He said a lack of login makes WhatsApp Payments an “open ATM” to everyone and is a security risk.

The Reserve Bank of India has taken a few steps to ensure data safety. The central bank has mandated all payment system operators to ensure that data related to payments is stored only in India giving firms six months to comply with it.

As far as WhatsApp Payments goes, the ministry of electronics and IT has asked NPCI to check if its payments service conforms with RBI rules.WhatsApp, in its defense, claimed that sensitive user data such as the last 6 digits of a debit card and UPI PIN is not stored at all. However, it admitted to using the infrastructure of Facebook for the service, it asserted that the parent firm does not use payment information for commercial purpose. – Business Today

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