According to a statement released by the Facebook Inc.-owned instant messaging application, Whatsapp, all payment-related data of the application will be stored locally as per the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data localisation norm.
Whatsapp is testing the payment function of the application as a pilot project in India. About 1 million users are currently using the service and the company wants to launch the feature to the rest of the country soon. Whatsapp Payments allows users to send money in a simple and secure manner and will help the country gradually achieve its financial inclusion goal.
The nation-wide rollout of the payment feature of the popular messaging application is currently facing a roadblock as it has not received approvals from RBI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) yet.
RBI had released a circular in April 2018 asking all global companies to store the payment data of Indian customers locally i.e. within India. The data localisation norm will come into effect on 15 October 2018.
The RBI mandate is applicable to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, Facebook, and Google too. While Whatsapp has agreed to comply with the new norm, many other payments firms have requested RBI to extend the deadline and also ease the norm by allowing a copy of the data to be stored in India instead of complete data localisation.