The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has asked both Google and WhatsApp, in two separate letters, to clarify their plans of storing local payments data related to the Indian customers exclusively in India.
Earlier, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had asked National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to check whether WhatsApp and Google’s payment service conformed to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rules.
On April 5, 2018, RBI had said that all payment system operators will have to ensure that data related to payments is stored only in India and firms would have six months to comply with it.
WhatsApp and Google were also asked to not store any mirror copies of the data outside of India. Both the companies are yet to give clarity on the ‘exclusivity’ clause – a key stipulation of RBI.
Google is yet to publicly reply about the compliance but has maintained its support for free flow of data between the countries. It however said, as per the ET report, that it will slowly increase its local data storage capacity in India and work to support partners regulated by RBI.
Meanwhile, MeiTy is concerned about WhatsApp sharing data with Facebook in the wake of recent data breach issue of the social media major with the UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, PTI report had said. WhatsApp, on the other hand, said that its parent firm does not use payment information for commercial use.