How is Google’s GPay operating without authorisation, Delhi HC asks RBI

Petition says the entity did not figure in the list of ‘Payment System Operators’ authorised by the RBI

April 10, 2019 06:20 pm | Updated 09:46 pm IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India and Google India seeking their stand on the issue. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@GooglePay

The Delhi High Court issued notice to the Reserve Bank of India and Google India seeking their stand on the issue. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@GooglePay

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Reserve Bank of India how could Google’s mobile payment app, Google Pay, operate in India as a payment transaction system without the requisite authorisation.

A Bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A.J. Bhambhani issued notice to the RBI and Google India on a petition seeking direction to the tech giant to immediately stop Google Pay services in India.

The petition filed by Abhijit Mishra, who claims to be a financial economist, has said that Google Pay did not figure in the list of the ‘Payment System Operators’ authorised by the RBI.

Data storage

It pointed out that the RBI’s April 2018 Master Circular on Storage of Payment System Data mandated that “all system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India.”

“Google Pay, being an unregistered entity to the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, is not in compliance with the requirements and the RBI’s Master Circular,” the petition said.

The petition said Google Pay was using NPCI’s (National Payments Corporation of India) BHIM unified payments Interface (BHIM UPI) for money transfers.

Risk to privacy

“Google Pay by the virtue of unauthorised access to the BHIM AADHAR – Unified Payments Platform can have serious detrimental effect on the privacy and personal liberty of Indian citizens as the data might be stored in servers located outside India,” it contended.

The petition said Google India was doing “business as Google Pay though its unauthorised operation in India as Payment and Settlement Systems has unmonitored and unauthorised access to the personal information such as Aadhaar, PAN, transaction etc. of the public.”

The petition has asked the court for a direction to conduct a compliance audit of the Google India Digital Services Private Limited for its alleged “unauthorised operation in India as Payment and Settlement Systems under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.”

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