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Visa, Mastercard May Miss India’s Data Localization Deadline: Reports

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India has asked all payment system operators to ensure localization of data by October 15 this year. A top IT expert says while there is a perceived reluctance by the companies to accept the change but compliance is a must.

New Delhi (Sputnik): Indian media is abuzz with reports that two major international payment system operators Visa and Mastercard may not be able to comply with the October 15 deadline for data localization set by the country's central banking regulator.

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One of India's top IT experts is of the opinion that there is a perceived reluctance for change but compliance to local data storage policy will have to happen at the earliest.

"There seems to be a delay, but they will have to comply. The degree of data sovereignty is a matter of discussion like whether they (the payment platforms) will be allowed to store a copy of the data offshore or will their data be exclusively stored in India. But compliance is a must and the companies will have to adhere to the RBI guidelines sooner or later," Vinit Goenka, an IT expert and member of the government of India's IT task force for several important ministries told Sputnik.

READ MORE: American Tech Giants Wary of India’s Data Localization Move – Report

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a circular in April this year setting the October deadline following which several industry representations were made and it was expected that the apex bank would come out with further clarity on the matter. Nothing has come from the RBI yet.

A majority of payments companies store India payments records in their data centres spread across Singapore, the US, and London, among other locations.  

READ MORE: Millions of Accounts Compromised by Devastating Cyberattack on Indian Banks

"Sources said these two companies have indicated to the RBI that it would be challenging to abide by new regulations in the absence of adequate clarity on storing payments data only in India. The banking regulator has yet to put out any updates on the matter since it released the first circular in April. Multiple sources in the industry said players like Visa and Mastercard missing on this deadline would have a broader ramification on other players in the space too," Times of India reports.

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