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WhatsApp may be sharing your payments data with Facebook

According to NPCI, the banks associated with third-party payment apps like WhatsApp and PhonePe need to get exclusive permission from NPCI before they share customer data.

business Updated: Apr 10, 2018 07:16 IST
Shrutika Verma and Mihir Dalal
WhatsApp launched payments on trial for some of its users in February. It is expected to introduce the service to all its users soon.
WhatsApp launched payments on trial for some of its users in February. It is expected to introduce the service to all its users soon.(AFP File Photo)

WhatsApp, the newest entrant in India’s payments market, has said it may share customers’ payments data with its parent Facebook, at a time when Facebook is dealing with questions about how it uses customer data.

Based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, WhatsApp launched payments on trial for some of its users in February. It is expected to introduce the service to all its users soon.

“We share information with third-party providers and services to help us operate and improve Payments... To send payment instructions to PSPs (payment service providers), maintain your transaction history, provide customer support, and keep our Services safe and secure, including to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, safety, security, abuse, or other misconduct, we share information we collect under this Payments Privacy Policy with third-party service providers including Facebook,” one of the clauses in Whatsapp’s privacy policy reads.

“To provide Payments to you, we share information with third-party services including PSPs, such as your mobile phone number, registration information, device identifiers, VPAs (virtual payments addresses), the sender’s UPI PIN, and payment amount,” it adds.

Facebook in India has over 200 million users and the firm last week informed the government that about 335 people’s data was compromised because of the Facebook data leak case.

Facebook chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg is testifying in the US Congress over the next 10 days about allegations that London-based data-mining and analytics company Cambridge Analytica inappropriately accessed data on Facebook users in the run-up to the elections in the United States.

According to a circular by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI), the body that oversees the UPI platform, the banks associated with third-party payment apps like WhatsApp and PhonePe need to get exclusive permission from NPCI before they share customer data.

To be sure, WhatsApp rivals Paytm and Flipkart-owned PhonePe, too, have privacy policies that state that these companies may share customer data.