NPCI looks for more changes in WhatsApp data storage

BENGALURU: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which manages the Unified Payments Interface ( UPI ), has asked the popular messaging platform WhatsApp to make additional changes to its data-localization compliance framework to get final approval to launch payments here, two people aware of the matter said. Deloitte had prepared a third-party audit of WhatsApp’s data compliance, which was submitted to the NPCI , these people added.

For over 18 months now, WhatsApp, which has 400 million monthly active users here, has been operating its payments business on UPI in beta-mode, which is restricted to 1 million users. The exact technical nature of changes asked by the NPCI is not known. This comes after WhatsApp’s global head Will Cathcart He had told TOI in July that the messaging platform was compatible and that he is willing to launch payments in India on a large scale in 2019.

According to people aware of the goings-on, WhatsApp is yet to revert to the NPCI’s query asking for new changes. “They had submitted a report prepared by Deloitte. We have sent it back with suggestions to make a couple of changes with regards to compliance standards on data localization, ”one of the people mentioned earlier said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has ordered payment service providers and third-party payment applications to store key payment data only in India. By the way, the latest development coincides with the six-week period given by the Supreme Court to the RBI in August. The apex court had asked the central bank to submit WhatsApp ’s compliance affidavit in the court following a petition by the Center for Accountability and Systemic Change ( CASC ), a nonprofit organization that defies compliance standards for the messaging platform in India.

When contacted, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, We have nothing new to add to what Will (Cathcart) said to you during his interview with you in July.

Emails sent to the NPCI and Deloitte India He got no answer.

While the Facebook-owned WhatsApp has maintained it does not want to break end-to-end encryption on its platform, the issue remains a matter of continuous negotiation between the company and the government. Last week, Nicholas Clegg, vice-president of global affairs u0026 communications at Facebook, was in India and he met government officials in Delhi. According to reports, encryption was one of the top topics discussed during these meetings.