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RBI Puts Its Foot Down: WhatsApp To comply With New Norms On Local Data Storage For New Payment Feature

Swarajya Staff

Oct 10, 2018, 12:11 PM | Updated 12:11 PM IST

WhatsApp has over 200 million active users in India. (Carl Court via Getty Images)
WhatsApp has over 200 million active users in India. (Carl Court via Getty Images)

WhatsApp has said that it has set up local data storage facilities for its payment services in compliance with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Financial Express has reported. WhatsApp’s pilot service has one million users.

A statement released by the WhatsApp spokesperson said, “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.”

RBI had released its data localisation norms in April 2018 and asked all payments companies to store their data in India by 15 October. So far WhatsApp is the only major overseas player which has agreed to comply with RBI norms.

However, it is unclear whether WhatsApp will get regulatory approval from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) regarding data sharing with a third party. In the case of WhatsApp, its parent company Facebook can be considered a third party with which it may share user data.


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