A claim, urging people to exercise caution while using Google Pay (Gpay), is viral on social media. It says that in a statement given to the Delhi High Court, the Reserve Bank of India has declared that it does not recognise Gpay as a payment system operator. One cannot claim the money transferred through Gpay if any issue arises because it is not in the list of the authorised payment system by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the claim adds.

The claim is widely circulating on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on Whatsapp. Alt News has also received multiple requests to verify the claim on its WhatsApp helpline number (+91 76000 11160). Several people have shared an article by India Today to support the claim.

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Misleading claim

We looked at the list of third-party UPI apps recognised by the NPCI and found Google Pay at the fifth position, which means that Google Pay is recognised as a third-party app that enables UPI payments.

We found that the claim was also viral in 2020 and Google Pay India had issued a statement in this regard.

Speaking to PTI, a Google spokesperson had said, “Google Pay operates completely within the law. Google Pay works as a technology service provider to partner banks, to allow payments via UPI (Unified Payments Interface). UPI apps in the country are categorised as ”third party apps”, and are not required to be ”payment systems operators”.”

The spokesperson further added, “All transactions made via Google Pay are fully protected by redressal processes laid out by applicable guidelines of the RBI/ NPCI, and users can reach out for any help 24/7, through Google Pay customer care.”

It is important to note that the claim shared on Whatsapp is viral based on an article by India Today (republish PTI story) where the title says that Google Pay is not a payment system operator. After the article was misinterpreted, India Today changed its title, added an update and also included a Google spokesperson’s statement.

Below we have added an archived version of the report and the updated version for the readers to see and compare it themselves. As evident, the title of the updated version reads, “Google Pay part of UPI ecosystem and legal in India, says company” to erase confusion.

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

The statement read, “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.”

Thus, Google Pay is a third-party operator that allows UPI payment. It is not required to be a payment systems operator.

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About the Author

Kalim is a journalist with a keen interest in tech, misinformation, culture, etc