HC seeks the response of RBI and UIDAI

Close-up of logo for Google Pay, listing approved credit cards, on store window in San Ramon, California, February 4, 2020. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court sought responses from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in response to a PIL alleging Google Pay’s improper access, use, and storage of users’ Aadhaar and banking information.

The petition was served on a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, who also requested the opinion of Google India Digital Services Private Limited.

The bench set November 8 as the next date for hearing on the petition filed by Abhijit Mishra, a financial economist, who claimed that the “Terms and Conditions” of Google Pay “explicitly states that the company will be storing the payment instruction details of the parties including Bank Accounts and Aadhaar details” despite the fact that no permission to do so has been granted by the concerned entity.

Google Pay is a third-party app provider (TPAP), according to the RBI, and does not operate any payment systems.

“The unauthorized/unlicensed/unregistered entity Respondent No. 3 i.e. Google Pay is collecting the Aadhaar and banking transaction details of Indian citizens, which is a clear violation of the above-mentioned act as well as Article 21 of the Indian Constitution,” the plea filed by lawyer Payal Bahl stated.

Google Pay, as a private corporation, is not authorized to acquire, use, or store citizens’ Aadhaar and banking information, according to the statement.

The petitioner claimed in another PIL that Google’s mobile payment tool, Google Pay or GPay for short, was facilitating financial transactions without the necessary RBI approval.

It claimed that Google Pay was acting as a payments system provider in contravention of the Payments and Settlements Act since it had no proper authorization from the country’s central bank to do so.

In response to that argument, Google India Digital Services told the court last year that Google Pay did not require RBI approval since it is a third-party application provider rather than a payment system operator (PSO).

Google Pay is a third-party app provider (TPAP), according to the RBI, and does not operate any payment systems.

As a result, its operations do not violate the Payment and Settlement System Act of 2007, according to the RBI.

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