Truecaller today announced that it stores all of its Indian user data locally, including payments data, “to ensure that the data of its Indian users remains secured and to provide faster and more reliable services”. According to the company this is aimed at safeguarding personal data.
Payments data locally stored: The company also announced that its payments service – Truecaller Pay – was built out of India after it acquired the payments app Chillr and its employees joined Truecaller. “This made Truecaller fully compliant to RBI’s data localisation norms from the start, compared to other international entities,” said the company.
It said it has invested heavily in India over the past 24 months. More than half of its employees are from India, spread across office in Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Truecaller co-founder and strategy head Nami Zarringhalam said it now has 100 million daily active users in India. The company claims also claims to have doubled the search result speed for its Caller ID service.
Data localisation mandate
Released in August 2018, the Data Protection Bill, 2018, mandated localization of all data of users in India locally, citing growth of local business, law enforcement access, development of Indian servers, among others. Meanwhile, the RBI had already mandated localization of payments data locally, compounding the confusion. Several companies have begun pre-emptively localizing data:
In September, Xiaomi said it is migrating its Indian data to local servers from servers in US and Singapore.
By December, MasterCard told the RBI that it will begin deleting data of Indian cardholders from global servers, and said that starting October 6, all new transaction data is being stored locally. WhatsApp, which has been looking to launch a payments service for a year, said in October that it has a system to store payments data locally.
Truecaller: lending, payments, inbox, Caller ID, local services
Truecaller has indeed stepped up services in India: It launched Truecaller Pay in March 2017, and recently onboarded Bharat BillPay as a merchant. It has an inbox and messaging segment with 65-70 million users in India, out of 70-80 million users worldwide. It also announced a lending service which will offer unsecured loans between Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lak, this product is expected to arrive by the first half of this year, It also has a local service search section. The app also offers two paid subscription packs – Premium and Gold.