Google Pay does not have access to Aadhaar database, HC told

Plea had alleged that GPay facilitated financial transactions without requisite RBI authorisation

Google India on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it does not have access to the Aadhaar database and does not require any such information for operating its digital wallet platform Google Pay.

“Google Pay does not require user’s Aadhaar details, in any manner whatsoever and therefore, neither does it require to access the Aadhaar database nor does it have access to the Aadhaar database,” Google India said in an affidavit filed before the HC. Google India’s response came on a petition claiming that Google Pay had “unauthorised access to the BHIM AADHAAR – Unified Payments Platform”.

The petition filed by Abhijit Mishra, who claims to be a financial economist, has claimed that Google Pay does not figure in the list of the ‘Payment System Operators’ authorised by Reserve Bank of India.

Money transfers

Mr. Mishra, in the petition filed through advocate Payal Bahl, said Google Pay is using NPCI’s (National Payments Corporation of India) BHIM unified payments Interface (BHIM UPI), for money transfers.

Responding to the petition, Google India said that the NPCI has been granted Certificate of Authorisation on August 24, 2016, to operate the UPI payment system.

“The NPCI for the purposes of ensuring penetration for the UPI payment system, allowed for payment service provider banks to avail the services of large technology companies or TPAPs (Third Party Application Providers) so as to connect with end consumers,” it said.

“Accordingly, the role of Google Pay, being a TPAP, is clearly permitted under the applicable regulatory framework,” Google India said.

“Further, the engagement by the PSP Banks of the services of such TPAPs does not per se make these TPAPs — the operators of the UPI payment system for which an authorisation is required under the PSS [Payments and Settlement System] Act,” it added.

The High Court will hear the case on October 22.