The Reserve Bank of India has told the Supreme Court that WhatsApp Pay is not complaint with India’s data localisation norms and so it has asked NPCI not to allow WhatsApp to deploy WhatsApp Pay in the country.
- RBI has asked NPCI not to allow WhatsApp to deploy its payments service in India.
- RBI has told Supreme Court that WhatsApp Pay is not compliant with data localisation norms.
- RBI has asked NPCI to ensure that WhatsApp Pay is compliant with data localisation norms.
WhatsApp rolled out its UPI-based payments service in India to select group of users in India last year. After the initial roll out WhatsApp has faced regulatory hurdles from the Reserve Bank of India, which has mandated that all payments related data be stored within the country. Since then the Facebook owned social messaging app has been trying to comply India’s data localisation norms. Now, a new report suggests that the RBI has told the Supreme Court that WhatsApp Pay cannot be deployed in India.
According to a report by The Times of India, the apex bank has told the SC that WhatsApp Pay cannot be deployed in India as it does not fully comply with India’s data localisation norms. RBI also told the apex court that it had directed National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the organisation that looks into the retail payments in the country, not to allow the full scale deployment of the service in the country.
Notably, RBI’s statement came in response to a query by the top court wherein it asked the apex bank to update it on the status of WhatsApp’s data localisation compliance in the country.
Separately, the RBI asked the NPCI to ensure that WhatsApp’s payment service is full complaint with India’s data localisation norms before the company is given the permission to roll out the service across the country. According to letter to the NPCI dated November 1, 2019, RBI asked the organisation to ensure that WhatsApp stores all its payments related data, in all forms, within the country. The central bank had also told NPCI that WhatsApp Pay would not be allowed to go live in India if the requirements are not met.
“WhatsApp application (client) logs, query screenshot (uploaded by the customer), and customer email message, which are stored with its support team for 90 days, do not contain any elements of payment data. We further advise you to ensure that WhatsApp does not store any of the payment transaction data elements in hashed/de-identified/ encrypted form in systems outside India,” the letter stated as seen by Business Standard.