At a time when the government wants financial data to be stored in India, search giant Google has sought more time to comply with the mandate of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its payments service.
Sources said Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai had told IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that Google Pay would comply with all the regulations related to digital payments services. He, however, has sought two months to comply with the RBI rules, an official in the ministry said.
Asked about the extension of time, a Google spokesperson said: “We maintain that cross-border data flows today are ubiquitous and an essential phenomenon for global economic activity and universal access to information. Soaring data flows generate more economic value and hence the socio-economic impact of restricting data flows must be thoroughly considered while framing any policy.” The firm added there was a need to find practical solutions to policy issues in line with the global best practices.
The minister had met Pichai at Google’s Mountain View headquarters on August 29 during his visit to Silicon Valley. The RBI in April had directed payments systems operators to store all data, including full end-to-end transaction details, in India to ensure the security of users’ information. The central bank had asked all the players to comply with the instructions within six months.
However, Pichai has written to Prasad, asking for a free flow of data across borders. He had said such a step would encourage global firms to contribute to India’s digital economy as well as benefit Indian start-ups that are looking at expanding globally. “Free flow of data across borders — with a focus on user privacy and security — will encourage startups to innovate and expand globally and encourage global companies to contribute to India’s digital economy,” Pichai said in a letter dated September 5.