Several social media users are circulating a purported news report, headlined “Google Pay not a payment system operator: RBI to Delhi HC”, which claims that Google Pay is not an authorised payment system by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
The “news report” has also attached an image of RBI governor Shaktikanta Das, while cautioning users that any payment-related frauds due to Google Pay would be outside the purview of RBI. We have also received this post on our Whatsapp tipline.
The archived versions of the posts can be seen here and here.
Newschecker first ran a keyword search for “RBI Google Pay payment system”, which led us to multiple news reports, including ET, Business Today, India Today. According to ET’s report, headlined “Google Pay not a payment system operator: RBI to HC” and dated June 20, 2020, “The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has told the Delhi High Court that Google Pay is a third-party app provider (TPAP) and does not operate any payment systems. Therefore, its operations are not in violation of the Payment and Settlement System Act of 2007, RBI has told a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.” The report stated that RBI also told the court that since Google Pay does not operate any payment system, it does not find a place in the list of authorised payment system operators published by the NPCI.
However, we learnt that this news became the subject of confusion, as according to this India Today report, dated June 26, 2020, “The RBI statement has led to some confusion, so much so that some are believing that Google Pay is not legal in India or that doing transactions through it is risky. This is not accurate and now Google India has issued a long statement to clear the confusion.”
This led us to this Twitter statement by Google Pay India on June 24, 2020, which categorically stated that 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’,” the tweet read, adding that all transactions made via Google Pay are fully protected by redressal processes laid out by applicable guidelines of the RBI/NPCI.
We then came across this press release from NPCI, dated June 25, 2020, clearing the air over the legality of Google Pay. “RBI has authorised NPCI as a Payment System Operator (PSO) of UPI and NPCI in its capacity as PSO authorises all UPI participants. 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, “ the statement read, adding that all transactions made using any of the authorised TPAPs are fully protected by the redressal processes laid out by NPCI/RBI.
We scanned the NPCI’s website and found that Google Pay was listed among authorised TPAPs.
Newschecker also saw this tweet by @PIBFactCheck, debunking the viral post. According to the tweet, Google Pay is an authorised #UPI payment services provider.
Google Pay is not a payment system operator, but a ‘third party app’ recognised by NPCI/RBI and an authorised UPI payment services provider.
Result: Partly False
Twitter thread, Google Pay India, June 24, 2020
Press Release, NPCI, June 25, 2020
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