29 May 2017 | Last updated 02:31 PM


 
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Whatsapp proposes to launch digital payment platform in India
Rohit Chandavarkar | Wednesday, 3 May 2017 AT 07:53 PM IST
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New Delhi: Top management team form globally popular messenger application Whatsapp was in India recently to meet some members of India's union cabinet. The top team from Whatsapp has given a proposal of launching a digital payment platform in India in the coming months. If the proposal is approved by the government and India's Reserve Bank of India gives the necessary permission, Whatsapp could soon be entering India's market to compete with other digital payment platforms such as Paytm, PayUMoney and Mobiqick.   

A very senior leader of the BJP based in Delhi who works closely with the union minister Ravishankar Prasad told Sakal Times on condition of anonymity that a senior functionary working in Facebook owner Mark Zukerberg's team was in India recently to meet Ravishankar Prasad and to mainly discuss Whatsapp's plans in India. One of the main objectives was to present a proposal to launch a digital payment platform while there was also discussion in detail about security and privacy related policy issues between Whatsapp team and the minister. "The government seems positive about the proposal but time frame is yet uncertain. If things role the right way we could have Whatsapp entering India's digital payment sector in just a few months" said the BJP leader who was privy to the meeting.

Many companies have entered the digital payment sector in India that allows consumers to transfer cash into the integrated wallet via online banking, debit cards, and credit cards, or even by depositing cash via select banks and partners. Using the digital payment service, consumers can pay for a number of goods without using cash. Among the transactions consumers can make on such platform are recharges for mobile phones, metro cards, DTH cable, data cards, etc, as well as postpaid payments for mobile phones, landline/ broadband, electricity, water and gas bills.  

Current market leader in the digital payment sector such as Paytm uses Verisign-certified 128-bit encryption technology, which means that the secret key used in transactions is a sequence of 128 bits and does not reveal anything about the password length or contents. The platform is PCI DSS 2.0 certified, which means it does not store credit card data in unencrypted form.

The service operates through mobile phones. Whatsapp is excited about the growth of mobile phone connections in India which is much faster than many markets like United States. India's mobile phone subscriber base grew by 21.02 million to cross 1.12 billion at end-November 2016 on account of large number of additions by Reliance Jio. "The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,102.94 million at the end of October 2016 to 1,123.96 million at the end of November 2016, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 1.91 per cent," a report by telecom regulator TRAI has said in its report.


 
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