WhatsApp to comply with RBI, soon to store data locally in India

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Facebook backed messenger WhatsApp that is running a pilot payment service in India, is planning to set-up a system that enables storage of payments-related data locally.

whatsapp_payThis step is taken to comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines on data localisation.

On April 5, the RBI had put out a circular stating that all payments system operators in the country must ensure a system storing transaction data within India by October 15. As of now, WhatsApp is the only major overseas payments player to ensure a step in adherence with the circular.

However, the regulatory approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for WhatsApp pertaining to running a full-fledged payments service is not clarified. The ministry of electronics and IT had raised this query regarding the transfer of WhatsApp’s data to Facebook and therefore advised the NPCI to hold the approval the clarification on data transfer to the third party is sorted.

“In India, almost 1 million people are testing WhatsApp payments to send money to each other in a simple and secure way. In response to India’s payments data circular, we have built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India. 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,” said WhatsApp, in its official communiqué.

RBI so far has not announced any changes in its April circular.

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