The operating status of Google Pay is set to undergo judicial scrutiny, as the Delhi High Court has ordered a detailed hearing on the matter on July 22.
The development comes on the heels of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) arguing that Google Pay was a third-party app provider and not a payments provider.
“Google Pay is a third party app provider (TPAP) and therefore they are not system providers nor do they operate any payment system and hence Payment and Settlement System Act, 2007, is not violated in any manner in the present case,” the RBI told the court on Friday.
Therefore, Google Pay does not find a place in the list of authorised payment system operators published on the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) website either, the central bank added.
A bench headed by chief justice DN Patel and P Jalan will hear the case, a court order issued on Friday said. “...it appears that this matter requires detailed hearing and also affects rest of the third party app providers,” it added.
The writ petition is filed by Abhijit Mishra, an individual challenging the NPCI approval given to Google India Digital Services, which runs Google Pay. The plea alleges that NPCI itself is not authorised by the central bank to allow any bank to give access of its BHIM Aadhar, Unified Payment Interface (UPI) or payment gateway to the third party app provider.
In 2019, Google Pay was the top fintech app in India, with 36 million new downloads ahead of SBI’s Yono, according to a report by app analytics firm App Anine.