Paytm calls out lobby groups for working against India’s data localisation mandate


Financial payment behemoth Paytm exclusively told YourStory, it is 'disheartened' to see lobby groups working against the data localisation mandate laid down by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

With the compliance deadline set for October 15, the central bank had, in April, said all payments system operators working in India will have to ensure that data related to payment systems is stored in the country.

It had given operators six months to comply with the directive.

Commenting on the deadline, a Paytm spokesperson told YourStory,

"It is disheartening to see lobby groups working against the data localisation mandate laid down by RBI as it could harm the economic interests of certain global organisations who have been monetising the data generated by Indian users. With data localisation, they would lose that opportunity as the cross-border flow of data would be restricted and these companies would become more accountable to the authorities, which will significantly impact the business interest of global companies at large.”

At present, industry sources claim that close to 64 of the 80 payment services providers in the country are ready to store their data locally. The other 16 include credit and debit card giants.

Consultancy firms, without being named, said they estimated that not more than 10 percent of payment systems in India would be compliant with the RBI's directive on October 15.

The Paytm spokesperson added,

“All companies today are well-equipped with the technology and resources to comply with it at the earliest. Additionally, India’s financial data should also be classified as “Critical Personal Data” and must be brought under the scope of data localisation."

This is not the first time Paytm has taken such a strong stance on data sovereignty.

Just last month, the company filed a notice with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) regarding Google Pay’s privacy policy. It alleged Google Pay "collects, stores, uses and discloses Indian user’s personal data for advertising and promotional purposes" with not just its "group of companies", but also unnamed "third parties".

In the statement, it said that against the backdrop of India drafting its personal data protection bill, it was a concern that global companies were sharing users' personal data with third-party players.

Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma also took a strong stance against global behemoths trying to monopolise the Indian market. In an interview with YourStory in March, he said,

“The point is that if we don't have any of our Indian companies in this ecosystem, then we are basically building a market for outsiders. No innovation will be built out of this country. So, the ‘Make in India’ movement is for the intention of making within the country. That is what I am saying, otherwise we will have nothing left in the country.”