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WhatsApp updates privacy policy ahead of payments service launch

WhatsApp updates privacy policy ahead of payments service launch

New Delhi/New York: WhatsApp, which is testing its payments services in India, today said 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 service.

Almost one million people are "testing" WhatsApp's payments service in India, which is the largest base for the Facebook-owned company that has over 1.5 billion users globally. WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India.

"We'll be updating our WhatsApp payments Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to provide simpler language on how the payments feature operates. It also reflects the addition of payment interoperability features we've added since the beta started," a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that the company has worked closely with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), bank partners, and the Indian government on these details of how its service works.

WhatsApp had received permission from NPCI to tie up with banks to facilitate financial transactions via Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

"We still do not have a launch date but this terms and policy update bring us one step closer to full launch," the spokesperson said but declined to comment on the launch date of the service. WhatsApp payment service, which rivals the likes of Paytm, has been in beta testing over the last few months. Industry watchers expect the full-fledged launch in the next few weeks.

As part of the updated terms, WhatsApp said it may collect additional information when payments service is used.

"We've added new features like interoperability that request additional information (related to) WhatsApp payments user and user of any BHIM UPI-enabled app," the spokesperson said.

The terms state that WhatsApp collects information "when you send, receive, or request a payment, including the date and time and reference transaction number". Also, when someone makes a payment to a WhatsApp contact, the company collects the sender and receiver's names and BHIM UPI IDs.

The company added that it uses "all the information we have to operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our services". "This includes using the information to provide payments and customer support, to protect you and others using our services from fraud, abuse, or other misconduct, and to review your account activity to determine whether you continue to meet our Terms and Payments Terms," it added.

It also outlined that the company works with "the other Facebook companies to provide payments, including to send payment instructions to PSPs (payment service

providers)".

PTI

PTI

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