UPI apps need user consent to collect location data: NPCI guidelines

National Payments Corporation India ,NPCI) has made it mandatory for all is i-based apps to obtain user consent before capturing their location. It also said that the option to enable or revoke consent for location sharing should also mandatorily be provided to the users for the app.

“If the customer has initially given consent for location sharing to UPI apps while availing the services, and then wants to revoke the consent later, the same shall also be permitted without denying the UPI services to the customer. Should be known “Apps should continue to provide UPI services even after the customer revokes the consent to share location/geographic details for the App,” NPCI said in a statement on July 5.

It added that in all cases where the customer has given consent for the app to capture location/geographic details, the same should be correctly passed to UPI. In such cases, strict action will be taken by NPCI for sending wrong location coordinates.

“If the Customer does not consent/does not intend to share the location/geographical details to the UPI Apps, the App shall not reject/disable UPI services,” it said, adding that the guidelines would be applicable where the Customer (Payer) is an individual. / is the person who is initiating the transaction and will be applicable only on domestic UPI transactions.

These rules must be followed by all members by December 1, 2022, and they only apply to domestic UPI transactions between individuals.

“Unified Payment Interface (UPI) provides a set of standard APIs (Application Program Interface) primarily to facilitate real-time online payments for both person-to-person and person-to-merchant. The relevant field that members are required to pass/populate depending on the nature of the transaction is prescribed as part of the standard API message specifications,” NPCI said.

Meanwhile, according to a recent Bloomberg report quoting NPCI International Payments CEO Ritesh Shukla, after the success in the domestic market, NPCI also plans to take UPI to overseas markets. It will be a domestic alternative to SWIFT, a Belgium-based cross-border payment system operator.

“We have largely displaced cash in India and are now trying to replicate the success in the cross-border corridors… We will build acceptance for our equipment,” Shukla said as per the report. It also said that the remittance market, where it costs an average of $13 to send $200 across borders, is ripe for disruption.

UPI has become the most inclusive medium payment The platform has over 260 million unique users and 50 million merchants in India. In May 2022 alone, around 594 crore transactions amounting to Rs 10.4 lakh crore were processed through UPI.

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