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WhatsApp develops system to store payments-related data in India

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Messaging platform on Tuesday said it has developed a system to store payments-related data in as part of complying with the RBI's policy on storing such data locally.

The move assumes significance amid the industry being divided over the RBI asking all payment system providers to ensure that data relating to systems operated by them is stored only in

WhatsApp, which has 200 million users in the country, is the first global player that has officially announced its compliance with the RBI directions before the deadline of October 15.

"In response to India's payments data circular, we've built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India," a said in a e-mailed statement.

Currently, has around one million people in are "testing" its payment services, which the company launched on a pilot basis earlier this year, the said.

In April, the of India (RBI) came out with a circular regarding data localisation policy for payment system providers.

Generally, data localisation refers to storing data within India.

According to the spokesperson, WhatsApp hopes to expand the payments feature across India soon so that it can "contribute to the country's financial inclusion goals".

Out of WhatsApp user base of 1.3 billion people, more than 200 million people are in India -- the single largest market for the popular messaging platform.

The central bank's data localisation policy elicited mixed response from the industry. While some of the prominent domestic payment companies like and have come in support of the policy, global players like sought free flow of data.

Internet offers Pay in India.

Some international players have also sought more time and also asked that they be allowed to mirror the data.

Google is learnt to have agreed to follow the RBI's local data storage norm for but wants time until December to ensure compliance, a government source had indicated recently.

Besides, around ten international associations have recently drafted a letter flagging concerns over some of the proposed clauses of the personal data protection bill, which also mandates local storage of certain types of data, according to sources.

These industry bodies, mainly representing technology firms, are said to be of the view that data localisation proposed in the draft bill could have negative effects on the ability of companies to do business in India, the sources said recently.

On Monday, held a meeting with RBI BP and others to discuss the data localisation norm for global companies.

Meanwhile, the government has already sent two notices to WhatsApp on the fake circulation issue that had incited several cases of mob fury, following which, the company has taken a number of steps to curb the menace.

However, WhatsApp is yet to meet the government's key demand of identifying originators of fake

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 19:05 IST