Delhi High Court has questioned the authority of Google Pay and asked Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Google India to file a reply on the plea that alleges Google Pay not being listed as an authorised operator. The plea claims that the UPI-powered payment app is facilitating financial transactions without the requisite authorisation.
The list can be viewed here. You can see that Google Pay is not in the list of 82 UPI apps that have received certificates of authorisation from the central bank under the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 for starting and operating any payment system in the country.
RBI released its list of authorized payment systems operators on March 20, 2019. The divisional bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani issued a notice to the Reserve Bank of India and Google on a Public Intrest Litigation (PIL) filed by Abhijit Mishra.
The PIL alleges that Google Pay has unmonitored and unauthorized access to the personal information of users including Aadhaar (UID), PAN as well as transactions. The petitioner has asked the honourable court to stop the operation of Google Pay in India and impose penalties on the same for carrying out unauthorized business.
While RBI has not officially commented on the matter, one of Google’s spokesperson spoke to Startup Wonders and said, “Google Pay complies with all applicable legal requirements. Google Pay operates as a technology service provider to its partner banks, to allow for payments through the UPI infrastructure, and is not part of payment processing or settlement. There is no requirement for licensing of these services under the prevailing statutory and regulatory provisions. In order to support our partner banks, our efforts in complying with the government’s data localisation norms are underway, and given the scale and complexity, we are being mindful to prioritise data security and uninterrupted services to our users as we make this transition. The central bank is apprised of the progress and we remain committed to complying with the laws of the land. “
If the allegations are proved then it will come under serious offence by the search engine company. The company has been allowed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and RBI to operate till now.
International players like WhatsApp is also facing difficulties dealing with the data localisation norms as they don’t store data locally within the territories of India. Google, however, has a data centre in India and was allowed to operate in.
Google Pay tops among UPI players like PhonePe and Paytm. Google Pay clocked payments worth ₹43,000- ₹45,000 crore in March, ending the financial year on a high, according to two industry executives tracking the space. Both PhonePe and Paytm are said to have done transactions worth ₹31,000-32,000 crore each, with PhonePe being marginally ahead of Paytm.
The total value of transactions on UPI was ₹1.3 lakh crore in March 2019. During the same period in 2018, UPI saw 178 million transactions worth over ₹24,000 crore.e firm’s end.