Days after the WhatsApp payment feature went live, the founder of Paytm – the e-payments and e-commerce brand – has opposed it, indicating that it goes against the principle of providing a level-playing field.
Paytm's founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma told The Economic Times that he would approach the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the body behind the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), as well as other authorities for redressal of the issue.
The payment feature on WhatsApp, which is now owned by Facebook, is enabled merely by linking the app to the country's UPI that allows users to link their bank account without sharing confidential details. The payment option has made its way to some users right now, but there is no official confirmation about it yet.
Facebook is openly colonising our payment system and is customising UPI to their benefit. UPI was built as an India Stack, now some American monopoly arm-twists UPI for customer implementation.Vijay Shekhar Sharma to The Economic Times
Sharma also raised concerns about the "security risk" posed by the WhatsApp payment feature, considering that it does not require a login. He also asserted that the issue is not "about Indian companies versus international companies", but more about having a fair and "level-playing field" for all the competitors.
Notably, The Economic Times also reported that the vice-president of WhatsApp Neeraj Arora, who was also a board member of Paytm, has stepped down from the latter position.
With WhatsApp commanding a user base of 200 million users in India, the payments feature is set to give tough competition not just to Paytm, but also other digital payment services like Google Tez.
Beta testers found their WhatsApp interface displaying a large list of supported banks and they can see a payments feature appear in their WhatsApp Settings menu.