For better or for worse, India's data localisation norms have begun their last phase of implementation across the fintech market. Multinational payment giant Mastercard recently announced that they have started deleting the data of Indian citizens from overseas servers.
This move comes after Mastercard began storing the data locally in October 2018. In its Pune tech centre, the company had been storing the data since regulations required it to. Now, they have begun the deduplication process for records stored overseas.
The Reserve Bank of India introduced data norms for Fintechs owing to the added security measures taken by the country. The regulator has also made it clear that parties who do not adhere to the norms will not be allowed to operate in the country.
This was seen with the limbo exhibited by Facebook-owned WhatsApp's payment feature. The company developed and tested the rollout of WhatsApp Pay, but faced a roadblock immediately upon not complying with data localization norms.
The norms came as a way to increase financial data security, and came into power in April last year. The norms came as a way to increase financial data security, with a circular on April 6 last year asking system providers to "ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India”.
The deadline for compliance was set on October 15 last year, with Mastercard being one of the few companies that asked for an extension on the offered time.
The quick move by Mastercard represents an important shift of companies towards complying with data localization norms in the country for Fintechs. The company has even gone so far as to invest $1 billion in the country over the last five years.
Mastercard is looking to ramp up the backend infrastructure of payments in the country, as required by the norms. Late last year, they announced that they would be building their first overseas data processing centre in India worth $350 million.
The company has also sketched out a strong strategy for dominance in India, with a service hub being set up for value-added services. They have recognized a potential market and wish to capitalize, as seen by their quick compliance with regulators.
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