The day since the popular messaging app WhatsApp rolled out its digital payment feature, everybody but the founder and CEO of Paytm is not happy. However, maybe its all for the right reasons.
WhatsApp, the Facebook owned application announced its entry in the electronic payment space with the feature that allows peer-to-peer money transfer through the messaging app. The payment service is launched in the beta version of WhatsApp for selected users on trial basis.
The feature of the messaging platform, that is a fruit to its 200 million users in India with no Login ID and Password, is facing wrath of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder and CEO of the most used digital payment application all over India, Paytm.
The founder of Paytm is angry with Facebook and taking a jibe on the former on twitter.
After failing to win war against India’s open internet with cheap tricks of free basics, Facebook is again in play.
Killing beautiful open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation.
I am surprised, champions of open @India_Stack , let it happen ! https://t.co/wIsNuF1AiB
— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) February 14, 2018
In an interview with Bloomberg Quint, Vijay Shekhar Sharma expressed his views on why he thinks that WhatsApp owned Facebook is tricking its honest users with its feature.
On asking that why he has accused WhatsApp of killing the “open UPI platform”, the concerned man explained, India is a country that allows any company to build payments systems and various financial services systems but it has few guidelines for example, if you want to build a UPI system, you must have the ability to send money to an Aadhaar-linked account. He said, in order to build such a system, the developer must include a login password, authentication, and security which the WhatsApp product lacks thus threatening the security. He suggests, that Facebook must abide by the guidance’s and suggestions that are there in India.
“When you look at the WhatsApp product, I found it smooth and flawless except that it is exactly because it is violating every other obligation.”
The CEO referred to the fact that WhatsApp is maybe getting a favoured treatment with the platform allowed to launch its service with few of the guidance’s that are needed to be followed in any case, if you are launching such a platform. He told that even Paytm wasn’t allowed to launch unless it completed every bit of the thing required by the government.
“A feature like ‘Request money’ or paying to Aadhaar ID and by the way we assumed there would not be many payments but they are happening on our platforms. So, there was an end-to- end list that we had to comply with,”
He said, “Facebook is used to tricking systems to its advantage. It does that openly in the rest of the world. It will take content from content providers and trick them.”
He further thinks that he would have supported the feature, if they had spent a considerable about of money on it. Thus mentioning that even Paytm has spent Rs 10, 000 crore and more in this year alone to progress the payments space in the country. Moreover WhatsApp is the one who doesn’t have a software developer in India, it doesn’t even files tax in India. Thus, putting forward that, “All agendas are disguised under a cover of good.”
The Paytm CEO made a point that the social application WhatsApp doesn’t even have a sales team in the country. They make money and take it back home free of tax. He also said that WhatsApp is an independent messenger app, it’s not a financial services app, and so is not regulated by any measure, raising a question of it being secure.
Well, I would say citizens decide for yourself as the NCPI doesn’t certify any UPI Apps which doesn’t implement features like:
– Request money
– Option to set another UPI app as default
– Send/Receive to any UPI ID.
– Option to choose UPI Id/ delete UPI Id.
– Provide customer support
– Have a “BHIM UPI” branding and few more.
The only underlying problem that Paytm also describes, is how the WhatsApp got certified, when it did not implement all of the mandatory features.
After such statements, it can be thought that maybe Paytm is scared of WhatsApp as it is the biggest rival of the former in the history of Digital Payment Services, but the points that we shouldn’t forget is whatever the CEO of the 310 million user base has stated are enough to question the move of a messaging app to an online payment providing system.
Although, WhatsApp have not replied to any allegations put on them so far, the future can only decide the fate of the two companies.