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India reviews WhatsApp compliance before payments service approval

Friday 16 August 2019 | 01:04 PM CET

India has announced it is reviewing an audit report on data practices of WhatsApp to ensure compliance with local rules before permitting a nationwide debut of the company\'s payments service.

After getting approval, WhatsApp will be entering a crowded digital payments market, with more than 80 rivals on the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) platform, including Google and Amazon.

India's digital payments market is projected to grow five-fold and hit USD 1 trillion by 2023, according to a report by investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG. WhatsApp has substantial strengths including an India user base that's estimated at more than 300 million. Unlike many other service providers, it doesn't need to put in cash to acquire customers.

The messaging app's payments offering has been in a testing stage in India since early 2018 for a million users. It has been barred from expanding its reach till the offering complies with the country's data regulations. Rules require WhatsApp to submit a third-party auditor report showing that all data involved in payments will be only stored on servers in India.

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