Whatsapp recently started deploying BHIM UPI payment on invite basis with the consent of NPCI. No sooner did the rollout happen, than Paytm came forward with several questions regarding the security of WhatsApp. Some of those concerns were cleared by a statement from NPCI and some are still left unanswered. So how safe is WhatsApp to be integrated with country’s most comprehensive payment system.
WhatsApp Official Vs WhatsApp Mods
WhatsApp Mods are modified unofficial versions of WhatsApp application. These mods allow enhanced functionality or access to unreleased features. Dozens of these mods are available on the internet and people do use them. It is interesting that the WhatsApp’s OTP and 2 step authentication works flawlessly with these mods.
Now with the integration of BHIM UPI, WhatsApp should reconsider the coexistence of these mods. WhatsApp should also consider adding an app security feature. So, is WhatsApp safe with WhatsApp mods around?
WhatsApp BHIM UPI Beta Invite For Sale
WhatsApp Payments via UPI is now being rolled out on an invite basis. However, the invite system is public and people are misusing it for personal gains. We recently found that the invite for WhatsApp Payments was being sold in a Facebook group. According to the NPCI statement, they have permitted WhatsApp to test the feature among 1 million users. So, is this the way NPCI wanted WhatsApp to test the integration?
Before wrapping up, let’s once again go through the statement made by NPCI as a reply to Paytm. NPCI says that they will ensure WhatsApp Payments to release with full features once the beta test is successful.
NPCI statement pertaining to WhatsApp BHIM UPI beta launch
Mumbai: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has been working to facilitate digital payments in the country with globally recognised products like Bharat Interface for Money BHIM – Unified Payments Interface (BHIM UPI). We follow well-defined guidelines for BHIM UPI services with the objective of making our platforms interoperable and based on open standards, convenient and secure, offering multiple choices to consumers for rapid adoption for digital payments through banks and payment ecosystem players.
Currently, NPCI has given its consent to roll out WhatsApp BHIM UPI beta launch with limited user base of 1 million and low per transaction limit. Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature product shall be released after the beta test is successful. Multi-bank model offer advantages such as transaction load distribution between banks and helps to integrate popular apps easily with BHIM UPI.
Broad principles for interoperability like a) ability to send and receive money through any BHIM UPI ID b) intent and collect call and c) read and generate BHIM / Bharat QR code are required in final BHIM UPI app. BHIM UPI enabled app which fulfils such principles only will be permissible for full scale public launch.
We work towards providing seamless experience to users of BHIM UPI platform and recognise the contribution of member banks and non-bank entities to reach to this level.
So we have the same doubts raised by Paytm. Adding to that, how exactly is WhatsApp safe with these modded applications around. NPCI should try and resolve these issues before the final release. Instead of providing vague explanations to the public and those concerned, NPCI needs to investigate the situation. Hope the article was informative, Peace!