RBI effect: Big giants falling in line on data localisation, WhatsApp to store payments data in India

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Months after Reserve Bank of India () direction to the global payment companies to store payments data within India, the big giants are falling in line. which is testing its payment services in India said that it has built a local system to store payments-related data to comply with the RBI’s requirement.

“In response to India’s payments data circular, we have built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India,” WhatsApp spokesperson said, adding that almost 1 million people are testing WhatsApp payments to send money to each other in India. WhatsApp payments feature is likely to be available across the country soon.

“We hope to expand the feature to all of India soon so we can contribute to the country’s financial inclusion goals,” said WhatsApp spokesperson.

The central bank had in April given global payment companies six months’ time to store transaction data of Indian customers within India. In its direction to companies, RBI had observed that not all system providers store the payments data in India. RBI was of the view that storing data locally will ensure better monitoring.

“All system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. This data should include the full end-to-end transaction details / information collected / carried / processed as part of the message / payment instruction. For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in the foreign country, if required,” said RBI.

According to the RBI circular, system providers will have to ensure compliance within a period of six months and report compliance of the same to the Reserve Bank by October 15, 2018. System providers will submit the System Audit Report (SAR) on completion of the requirement. The audit is likely to be conducted by CERT-IN empaneled auditors certifying completion of the activity. The SAR duly approved by the Board of the system providers should be submitted to the Reserve Bank not later than December 31, 2018.

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