Google Pay Says Transactions Are Secure, Redressal Mechanism Applicable

Both Google Pay and NPCI clarified that Google Pay is a third-party app enabling UPI transaction protected by law

A viral message, urging people to exercise caution while using Google Pay claiming that transactions done through it as it is not authorised by the Reserve Bank of India, is false. Both Google Pay and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have said that Indian law and relevant protections are applicable to transactions done using the platform.

A forward making the claim has gone viral on WhatsApp and was sent to BOOM's helpline (7700906111) number for verification. The text of the message goes as following.

"RBI declared that if any issue arises while transferring amount thru Gpay one cannot claim as the same is not in the list of authorised payment system by NATIONAL PAYMENTS CORPORATION OF INDIA. Be cautious before using Google pay. Any payment related issues or frauds emanating due to Google pay will be outside the purview of RBI..Just be careful"

The WhatsApp forward also misinterprets reporting done by India Today on the RBI telling the Delhi High Court that Google Pay is not payment system, rather it is third-party app provider of the UPI, in response to a public interest litigation.

This message is also viral on social media.

Transactions Are Secure, Redressal Processes Laid Out By RBI/NPCI Applicable: Google Pay

Google Pay responded to the rumour and clarified that it is a technological platform, enabling payments through UPI. Being a third party application enabling UPI payments - its services are not in violation of the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSSA). Further, it has said that UPI transactions carried out on its app are secure as per the applicable guidelines laid down by the RBI and the NPCI.

"Some quotes on social media, wrongly attributed to the RBI, claim that issues arising while transferring money through Google Pay are not protected by the law, since the app is unauthorised. This is incorrect and can be verified on NPCI's website", Google Pay said in a statement.

BOOM independently verified that Google Pay is a third-party app enabling UPI payments. (Click here to see the list)

The statement added, "Google Pay operates completely within the law. We work as a technology service provider to partner banks, to allow payments via UPI. UPI apps in the country are categorized as 'third party apps', and are not required to be 'payment systems operators'." They also state that UPI transactions are protected.

All quotes are attributed to a Google spokesperson can be found here.

Google Pay Is A Third Party App Provider, Redressal Processes Are Applicable: NPCI

In a separate statement, the NPCI reiterated that Google Pay is third-party payments app on the UPI platform, and thus is governed by all applicable laws; with the redressals for UPI transactions protected by it (and the RBI).

The NPCI in a statement has said, "We would like to clarify that Google Pay is classified as Third Party App Provider (TPAP) that also provides UPI payment services like many others, working through banking partners and operating under the UPI framework of NPCI. All authorised TPAPs are listed on the NPCI Website. All transactions made using any of the authorized TPAPs are fully protected by the redressal processes laid out by applicable guidelines of NPCI/RBI and customers already have full access to the same."

As a safety measure, they have recommended UPI users not to share their OTP and UPI PIN with anybody.

The NPCI's statement can be found here.

What is a third-party app for UPI?

According to the UPI procedural handbook (as of October 2019), UPI as a platform has been developed for banks. However, non-banking entities can facilitate UPI transaction as third parties through UPI-enabled banking partners (called 'PSPs'). The operational and financial liability of enabling third-parties lies on banks. From the link provided earlier in this story, Google Pay functions as a third-party app, but it has HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank the State Bank of India as its PSPs. The list also consists of its popular alternatives, such as PhonePe (Yes Bank), Amazon Pay (Axis Bank), MobiKwik (HDFC Bank) and Mi Pay (ICICI Bank).

The registration of UPI as a platform can be seen with the RBI under the Payments and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, can be seen here, which has been done by the NPCI. All of the NPCI's offerings, such as IMPS (Immediate Payment System) and AePS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System), are registered. The list is as of May 31, 2020. This list also contains services such as card networks (such as Visa, MasterCard, Amercian Express and their likes); ATM networks; and services offering pre-paid instruments like 'wallets'.

Claim :   Transactions by Google Pay are not protected by the RBI (or by law)
Claimed By :  Various users of social media and WhatsApp
Fact Check :  False
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