Foreign payment firms to miss RBI’s October data storage deadline

Global payment firms

In absence of the Reserve Bank of India clarification on data storage, the global payment firms may not meet the apex bank deadline, which is till October.

With only two months left to relocate the data sets, it is not possible to do so, said a top executive of a payment firm.

To bring the Indian transaction data for storage back into the country after processing outside is a huge challenge and has feasibility issues. The clarification on data storage is still awaited from the RBI, he added.

Currently, in payment space, there are players like Paytm, Itz Cash, CC Avenue and Citrus as well as global players such as Visa, Mastercard, WhatsApp, Amazon, and Google. Most of the global players have servers away from India.

The ruling has become a pain in the neck for foreign players, who eyes India as a key market and generally have unified systems and work across the globe with the same application servers. Setting up servers in India and create data centres from scratch will be both expensive and time-consuming.

Meanwhile, the govt is open to the idea of storing data outside the country while keeping a copy in India. The payments firm are yet to officially comment on the issue.

In April this year, RBI in its regulatory policy observed that currently only certain payment system operators and their outsourcing partners store the payment system data either partly or completely in India. However, there is no detail instruction came from the apex bank.

Ensuring the safety and security of payment systems data by adoption of the best global standards and their continuous monitoring and surveillance is essential to reduce the risks from data breaches while maintaining a healthy pace of growth in digital payments, the regulator had said in a press statement.

India has been the key market for payment firms. According to Credit Suisse report, the digital payments space in India will grow five-fold to $1 trillion by 2023.

The development was first reported in ET.

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