Messaging giant WhatsApp has built a system to store payments-related data locally in India in order to comply with a mandate from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which comes into effect from October 15, 2018.
In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: "In response to India's payments data circular, we've built a system that stores payments-related data locally in India." The company said it hoped "to expand the feature to all of India soon so we can contribute to the country's financial inclusion goals".
Last week, a number of payment companies including PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Google and Facebook met with India finance minister Arun Jaitley in an attempt to seek temporary relief from the RBI's mandate, requested the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to allow for one copy of all payments-related data to be stored in India, instead of mandating full data localization.
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WhatsApp's approval for a full-fledged roll out of its payment service has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months . However, the Facebook-owned messaging service has continued to pilot its payment service in India with 1 million users.
In late July, Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of WhatsApp's owner, Facebook, announced: "We've been testing payments on WhatsApp in India. Of the people who have tested this, feedback and usage has been very strong. All signs point to a lot of people wanting to use this when the government gives us the green light."