National Payments Corporation of India, the entity that is responsible for all things payments in India, has announced building of a new data center in the southern Indian city of Chennai. In a statement sent to The Tech Portal, NPCI says that it is developing this ‘Smart’ data center to house the National critical set-up with highly secured infrastructure.

The datacenter, which will be the first Tier IV category center in the city of Chennai, will host major services under the DIGITAL INDIA initiatives. It will be located in SIPCOT Information Technology Park, Siruseri.

Digital payments have been surging in India at an unprecendeted rate. The country has been clocking over a billion transactions every month via UPI, since the start of this year. And while that number did come down to 800 million or so in April due to lockdowns, it is still among one of the largest globally.

However, India has for long needed a high capacity, secured data storage location within the country, to store all that critical data. There are existing setups, but the scale that digital payments are expected to achieve, will demand much more computing power. The Reserve Bank of India too, has mentioned time and again, the need to strictly implement country’s data localisation policy.

NPCI CTO N Rajendran says, “Our focus will always remain on enhancing acceptance infrastructure for digital payments so as to encourage customers towards digital transactions to achieve RBI and Government’s less cash objective. With the Smart Data Center, we are happy to create more employment opportunities as well.”

Most of India’s digital payments push came in post the introduction of UPI, or Unified Payments Interface. UPI is a one-of-its-kind trans-bank online payments infrastructure, developed by the NPCI, that lets users instantly transfer money from one bank account to another. All of country’s banking infrastructure is enabled on the platform, making it the largest of its kind unified digital payments infrastructure in the world. Such has been the lure of UPI, that the likes of Google and Amazon launched dedicated UPI-powered payment systems in the country, a model that each of them is now looking to adapt worldwide.