Before launch of payments service, WhatsApp announces 24-hour helpline in English and three Indian languages - Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.
Following the partial roll-out of WhatsApp Pay, which experts foresee will disrupt the online payments space, WhatsApp has announced 24-hour customer support to help its users transition to the payment method seamlessly.
“We will provide 24-hour customer support. Payments users can contact the support team via e-mail and a toll-free number,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI.
The timeline for this service to go live is unclear, as is the exact time when WhatsApp Pay will be rolled out universally. However, the spokesperson specified that the helpline would be made available in three Indian languages, besides English, in its first stage –namely Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati. "We still do not have a launch date but these terms and policy update bring us one step closer to full launch," the spokesperson said.
At this stage, nearly one million of its users are “beta-testing” WhatsApp’s payments service in India, which is the largest base for the Facebook-owned company that has over 1.5 billion users globally.
Stress on data safety
In the wake of accusations from Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma that WhatsApp Pay is not in full compliance, thus making the data vulnerable, WhatsApp clarifies that they have “worked closely with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), bank partners and the Indian government on the details of how its service works” and have duly followed instructions before on-boarding banks to facilitate financial transactions via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
The RBI has passed a ruling prohibiting any financial organisation from storing payments-related information outside of India - and the NPCI has been tasked with ensuring every entity is compliant.
These concerns are amplified in the backdrop of the scandal Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company, was involved in, where a breach of the data of 87 million users by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica in the runup to the US 2016 elections to sway public opinion was confirmed.
WhatsApp has made it clear that Facebook will only store the data for internal use, to better the quality of their services, and not for any commercial purposes.