WhatsApp Pay Launch Imminent? Agrees To Store Financial Data Exclusively Within India As Per RBI Norms
WhatsApp Pay Launch Imminent? Agrees To Store Financial Data Exclusively Within India As Per RBI Norms  WhatsApp has over 200 million active users in India. (Carl Court via Getty Images)

Facebook-owned popular messaging service WhatsApp will finally comply with RBI’s data localisation directive and begin storing payments-related data only within India, reports Economic Times (ET).

Because of WhatsApp’s earlier refusal to exclusively store financial transaction data of Indians in servers located within India, its payment service WhatsApp Pay has been in beta mode since February last year (2018) and restricted to only one million users in the country.

“We plan to comply with RBI guidelines. Only some engineering work is left,” said a senior Facebook official. Facebook had earlier sought an approval to merely mirror or copy payments data within India, while at the same time, storing the same data in its overseas servers.

But with RBI refusing to budge from its stance, WhatsApp was forced to comply. WhatsApp has a subscriber base of 200 million in India.

Why Its Important?

To protect the sovereignty of financial data belonging to Indian consumers, RBI had issued guidelines to payment companies in April (2018), asking them to set up infrastructure to store data within the physical confines of the country.

It had given them six months to comply with the same. Many companies both Indian (PhonePe) & foreign-based ( Google Pay) had complied with the diktat.

Data localisation is important as it allows RBI to analyse data on financial transactions emerging out of India and use it for analysis and fraud prevention. Data which is stored in servers based out of India is beyond the reach of RBI as Indian laws do not apply to it.

Also Read: More The Merrier: MiPay Enters Indian Digital Payments Market, ICICI To Provide Back-End Support

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