WhatsApp Sets Up a New System to Store Payments Data Locally, Meets RBI Norm

WhatsApp has finally met the norms set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as it has set up a system in India that stores payments-related data within the country. To recall, the RBI has set a norm back in April 2018 that all the payment service providers should store the data locally, which has halted WhatsApp’s wide rollout of payment services in the country. Today, the Facebook-owned confirmed that it now has a system locally which stores entire payment related data within the country.

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WhatsApp Was Asked by RBI to Set Up Local System

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in a circular dated April 6, had said all system providers should ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. It had given time till October 15 to comply with the mandate.

“In India, almost one 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’ve built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said to PTI.

The spokesperson added that the company hopes to expand the feature across India soon so that it can “contribute to the country’s financial inclusion goals”.

A Look-Back at RBI’s Order

RBI, in its April order, had said it is important to have “unfettered supervisory access to data stored with these system providers as also with their service providers/intermediaries/third party vendors and other entities in the payment ecosystem” to ensure better monitoring of payment service operators.

RBI further said data should include the full end-to-end transaction details, information collected/carried/ processed as part of the message/payment instruction.

Google Also to Set Up a System Locally

Google, which is also offering payment services in India through Google Pay has already confirmed that it will set up a system locally and would fully comply with RBI norms by the end of November. WhatsApp’s full-fledged foray into the payments sector will stir the market as it will officially become the largest UPI-based payments service in the country, beating the current leader Paytm. Other payment portals are Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe, among others.

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