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Data processed abroad need to brought back within 24 hours: RBI


Emphasizing on last year issued circular on data localization, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified that all payments data has to be stored within the country.

The entire payment data shall be stored in systems located only in India, the central bank said in FAQ explaining to all Payment System Operator (PSO).

In case data processed outside India, it needs to be brought back to India within a business day or 24 hours. As per RBI, the complete end-to-end transaction details should be part of the data.

For cross border transaction data, consisting of a foreign component and a domestic component, a copy of the domestic component may also be stored abroad, it added.

The directive is applicable to payment entities as well as banks operating in India.

Earlier in April last year, the RBI issued a directive circular on ‘Storage of Payment System Data’ advising all system providers to ensure that, within a period of six months, the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them is stored in a system only in India.

However, PSO had a doubt regarding its data storage of foreign entity.

RBI further added that the data may be shared with the overseas regulator depending upon the nature and origin of the transaction, with due approval of the central bank. In the case of banks, especially foreign banks, earlier specifically permitted to store the banking data abroad, they may continue to do so.

India, which is considered next big payment markets has international firms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Pay, Amazon pay, Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard. While the data localization regulation got backing from local firms such as Jio and Paytm, it also faced resistance from global giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Mastercard.

The decision had affected these entities and many of them started the process to be in line with the data regulation.

Amazon had fallen in line with local data regulation before launching its payment service. As per a recent report, WhatsApp has also set up data storage facilities in India as it all set to launch its digital payment services.

Last week, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal had held extensive consultations with tech and e-comm firms.

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