WhatsApp clarifies that parent Facebook does not use customer payment data for commercial purposes

WhatsApp posted on its platform that Facebook simply helps pass the necessary payment information to the bank partner and NPCI.

After Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of US lawmakers, the brand is currently under the scanner and has yet to provide answers to the questions about how it uses customer data. Meanwhile, other apps owned by the Facebook have also come under scrutiny include, the popular messaging service, WhatsApp.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Being connected to Facebook, WhatsApp has been under the watchful eyes of the Indian government, more so as it recently announced its entry into the digital payments market. While the service is only in its pilot phase and has yet to see a proper rollout, the service had earlier said that it may share customers’ data with its parent company Facebook.

After the Cambridge Analytica case came to light, WhatsApp has now clarified how Facebook actually handles its customer's payments data with its parent company Facebook, to keep things transparent.

“When you make a payment, WhatsApp creates the necessary connection between the sender and recipient of the payment, using Facebook infrastructure. We pass the transaction information to the bank partner, which is called a PSP (payment service provider), and to NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India), so they can facilitate the movement of funds between the sender's and receiver's bank accounts. Facebook does not use WhatsApp payment information for commercial purposes, it simply helps pass the necessary payment information to the bank partner and NPCI. In some cases, we may share limited data to help provide customer support to you or keep payments safe and secure.” the messaging service posted in the FAQ's section on its platform.

WhatsApp has been running a trial of its payments feature with a limited set of users since February 2018.

The NPCI also pushed out a recent circular emphasizing that third-party payment apps must get exclusive permission from NPCI before they share customer data. An earlier circular also stated that all payment firms will need to store all their payment-related data in India, concluding that companies will need to report compliance within six months.

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