In a twist of events, Delhi High Court has asked Reserve Bank of India, regarding the legality of Google Pay’s operations in India.
They have asked them that when Google Pay, also called as GPay is not authorized to operate as a digital payments provider, how are they operating in India.
PIL Filed Against Google Pay In Delhi High Court
This question came up during a hearing at Delhi High Court, after a PIL was filed against Google Pay. The petition has been filed by Abhijit Mishra, who has claimed that Google Pay’s operations in India are a direct violation of the Payments and Settlements Act.
The petitioners have referenced to the official list released by RBI as on March 29th, which enlists all the entities which have been authorized to conduct payments in India.
Titled as “Certificates of Authorisation issued by the Reserve Bank of India under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 for Setting up and Operating Payment System in India”, the list has names such as Paytm, Mobikwik, Airtel, Jio, Freecharge and 100-odd entities who can official conduct and process any form of payments in India, including digital payments.
But Google Pay hasn’t been listed there.
The bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani have asked RBI and Google Pay to reply to their notice regarding this matter.
But NPCI Has Approved Google Pay
At the same time, it’s noteworthy to observe, that NPCI has approved Google Pay’s operations in India, and this is the real reason they are still operating.
NPCI or National Payments Corporation of India is the umbrella organisation which approves and monitors all payment services in India.
We checked NPCI’s page which enlists all the approved 3rd party UPI-based payments providers, and Google Pay has been listed there.
Google Pay’s Meteoric Rise In India: Our Opinion
The petition to question Google Pay’s operations in India have been filed within days of the release of a recent report, which claims that Google Pay has become India’s #1 UPI based app, in terms of the value of transactions.
For the month of March, Google Pay clocked transactions worth Rs 43,000 to Rs 45,000 crore, compared to Rs 30,000 to Rs 32,000 crore worth of transactions done by both PhonePe and Paytm, on the UPI platform.
This meteoric rise in popularity and acceptance of Google Pay is indeed interesting, and this may have triggered the filing of the petition. Google’s online payment platform: Tez was launched in 2017, which was rebranded to Google Pay last year in the month of January.
In terms of the number of UPI transactions, Paytm is still ahead of Google Pay and PhonePe.
Paytm’s Anti Google Pay Stand: Facts
Paytm has, in the past, accused Google Pay of violating NPCI’s rules and regulations, and have filed complaints against them.
In September 2018, Paytm officially declared a war against Google Pay, when they complained to NPCI regarding data misuse.
Paytm had claimed that Google Pay is sharing users’ data with 3rd parties, and this must stop. Paytm had claimed: “Google Pay, which is an unregulated platform, has the scope of using their customers’ data for their monetary gains with complete disregard for the users’ need for privacy,”