After much resistance to Indian central bank’s guidelines, Whatsapp is now reportedly looking to comply with RBI’s payments data localisation guidelines in the near-term, reported Economic Times. The Reserve Bank of India — the country’s central bank — has asked all digital payments firms to store payments related data of Indian users, locally.
Till date, Whatsapp, which has time and again cited user privacy as a concern against data localisation, was simply mirroring data to India-based servers. However, RBI has refused to budge on the guidelines, reportedly resulting in Whatsapp to agreeing to the same. Now, the Facebook-owned IM app will have to store all of Indian users’ payments data locally, with not even a byte from it going outside.
In a comment issued to ET anonymously, a Facebook official said, “We plan to comply with RBI guidelines. Only some engineering work is left”. An executive from within India’s IT Ministry told the financial publication that “WhatsApp has realised that there is no way to get away with it”. Nothing is official however till now, and will only come on paper once the messaging up lays out the required infrastructure.
As of now, Whatsapp Pay — the UPI enabled payment feature within the app — is limited to 1 Million users and continues to be a in pilot phase, due to regulatory restrictions.