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WhatsApp plans to comply with RBI’s data localisation mandate: Report; Why is it needed?

WhatsApp is working to comply with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regulations on the local storage of payment-related data, the Economic Times reported. “Only some engineering work is left,” an anonymous senior Facebook executive told ET. The messaging platform has been operating its payments service WhatsApp Pay in beta mode for one million users since February 2018 but has run into trouble for not complying with data localisation rules, which require all payments-related data generated in India to be stored within the country. On Monday, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) criticised India's restrictions on cross-border data flows and its "onerous" data localisation requirements, and said they were a barrier to digital trade, Business Standard reported. “In 2018, India published a number of measures that would restrict the cross-border flow of data and create onerous data localisation requirements. In October, one such measure was implemented, requiring payment service suppliers to store all information related to electronic payments by Indian citizens within India”, said USTR. What's the need for Whatsapp to localise UPI information? (Nikhil adds) The RBI has mandated the localisation of data because it needs to do that to perform a supervisory function over transactions. All transactions and account linkages through Whatsapp, Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe or even BHIM take place through the UPI, and the NPCI, which runs UPI has access to the same payments information that Whatsapp has access to. So, for a supervisory function, the RBI can gain access to that data via NPCI. What's the…

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