WhatsApp sets system to store data locally to comply with RBI regulations

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 10, 2018 11:27 hrs
WhatsApp (Reuters image)

Mobile messaging platform WhatsApp Tuesday said it has built a system that stores payments-related data in India, in line with RBI's data localisation policy.

"In response to India's payments data circular, we've built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India," WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.

WhatsApp - which began piloting its payments service in India earlier this year - said almost one million people in the country are currently "testing" the feature.

The spokesperson said WhatsApp hopes to expand the payments feature across India soon, so that it can "contribute to the country's financial inclusion goals".

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a circular in April, had said all system providers will have to ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. It had given time till October 15 to comply with the mandate.

The data localisation mandate by RBI had drawn mixed response from the industry with domestic payment companies like Paytm and PhonePe welcoming the decision, while their global counterparts like Google (which offers Google Pay in India) have backed free flow of data.

At the same time, some international players have sought more time and also asked that they be allowed to mirror the data.

On Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had met RBI Deputy Governor B P Kanungo to discuss the data localisation norm for global financial technology companies.

The meeting had been attended by Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar and IT Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney.

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