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Visa, Mastercard, Amex seek 12 months to meet RBI's data localisation norms: report

US-based card companies asking for a 1-year extension of data localisation norms include card payments firms like Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

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Visa, Mastercard, Amex seek 12 months to meet RBI's data localisation norms: report

US-based card companies, which missed the Reserve Bank of India's deadline to meet data localisation norms, are reportedly asking for one more year to comply with the norms which kicked in today. Those asking for a 1-year extension include card payments firms like Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

According to a report in BloombergQuint, these companies are willing to comply with the RBI's directive but have sought 12 months to complete the process.

Mukesh Aghi, the chief executive officer of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum told the news website that US-based companies are willing to commit to a milestone-based implementation plan.

"We have requested a 12-month period from the RBI so that we can provide you world-class data... We need to have a consultative process so that we can set milestones for three months, six months and 12 months," Aghi said.

As many as 80 per cent players in the payment industry, including Amazon, Paytm and WhatsApp, have complied with the norms for local storage of data, with RBI's deadline coming to close on Monday, PTI reported.

In April, the central bank had given six months to global payment companies to store transaction data of Indian customers within India.     

The central bank's data localisation policy had elicited mixed response from the payment services industry. While some of the prominent domestic payment companies like Paytm and PhonePe have been supportive of the dictum, global players like Google (that offers Google Pay) had argued for free movement of data.

Some international players had appealed for more time for compliance and also asked that they be allowed to mirror the data. Paytm, which had vociferously supported data localisation, said critical data must not be allowed to go out of the country, not even for processing.

"We have complied to this mandate since day one and have welcomed this initiative right from the beginning. It is important that we do not become mere internet colonies for global companies, and make every organisation accountable towards the security and privacy of data of our fellow countrymen," a Paytm spokesperson said.

US-based messaging platform WhatsApp has already said it has developed a system to store payments-related data in India. An Amazon spokesperson said "compliance with local laws and regulation is a top priority for us in all the countries we operate in. We continue to work closely with the regulators towards this".

Google is learnt to have agreed to follow the RBI's local data storage norm for payment services but has asked for time until December to ensure compliance, a government source had indicated recently.

Critics of data localisation argue that the move would have negative effects on the ability of companies to do business in India.

In its April monetary policy review, the RBI had said that in order to ensure better monitoring of payment service operators it was important to have "unfettered supervisory access to data stored with these system providers as also with their service providers/ intermediaries/third party vendors and other entities in the payment ecosystem".

With PTI Inputs

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