Delhi: As Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced launching its payments service in India later this year, fears of data privacy came back to the fore, with the government reportedly asking the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to ensure that users’ data are not shared.
The NPCI is an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India. Reserve Bank of India guidelines say that all digital payment firms such as WhatsApp, Google Pay and others must store data locally for their businesses in the country. WhatsApp has said it is ready with its data localisation plans for its Pay service.
“In response to India’s payments data circular, we’ve built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India,” a WhatsApp spokesperson had told IANS.
WhatsApp global head Will Cathcart said its peer-to-peer, UPI-based Pay service for over 300 million users – especially SMEs – will arrive in India sometime later this year.
The country’s largest digital payments wallet, Paytm, which will take the biggest hit, refused to comment on Friday.
However, Paytm which last reported 230 million users in India had made it clear that all payments data of the Indian users must be processed and stored only within the country and must not be allowed to go out of the country, not even for processing.
“It is important that we do not become mere Internet colonies for global companies and make every organisation accountable towards the security and privacy of data of our fellow countrymen,” a Paytm spokesperson said recently.
This is a key matter of national interest, said Paytm, adding the government must discourage inappropriate use and transfer of data.