In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with a circular regarding data localisation policy for payment system providers.
New Delhi: Facebook-owned messenger platform WhatsApp on Tuesday said it has developed a system to store payments-related data in India in line with a RBI directive that all such data must only be stored locally.
WhatsApp’s statement is significant as a large number of foreign players have been lobbying with the government to not enforce RBI’s rule to store such information locally claiming that it will increase the cost of their operations and hit businesses. “In response to India’s payments data circular, we’ve built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India,” said a WhatsApp spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that, in India, almost 1 million people are testing WhatsApp payments to send money to each other in a simple and secure manner.
WhatsApp formal roll out of its payment operation has been delayed after controversy over false news and rumours circulating on its platform that have led to mob lynchings resulting in more government scrutiny. “WhatsApp payments is useful for people in their daily lives and we hope to expand the feature to all of India soon so we can contribute to the country’s financial inclusion goals,” added WhatsApp spokesperson
In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with a circular regarding data localisation policy for payment system providers. Generally, data localisation refers to storing data within India.
The central bank’s data localisation policy elicited mixed response from the payment services industry. While some of the prominent domestic payment companies like Paytm and PhonePe have come in support of the policy, global players like Google sought free flow of data.
Internet major Google offers Google Pay in India. Some international players have also sought more time and also asked that they be allowed to mirror the data.
Google is learnt to have agreed to follow the RBI’s local data storage norm for payment services but wants time until December to ensure compliance, a government source had indicated recently.
Besides, around 10 international associations have recently drafted a letter flagging concerns over some of the proposed clauses of the personal data protection bill, which also mandates local storage of certain types of data, according to sources.
These bodies, mainly representing technology firms, are said to be of the view that data localisation proposed in the draft bill could have negative effects on the ability of companies to do business in India, the sources said recently.