Google ready to comply with RBI norms for payment services, says official

The directive of the RBI has seen resistance from foreign firms

Business News, Nation, (New Delhi), September 11:-Internet major Google is learnt to have agreed to follow the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) local data storage norm for payment services but wants time until December to comply with, according to a government source.

“Google during the US visit of Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad conveyed to him that they are ready to comply with RBI rules but want two months more to comply with data storage rule,” a government source told reporters.

Prasad visited Google headquarters in California in August-end where he met Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google runs digital payment services in the name ‘Google Pay’. The company has claimed 22 million people use the platform every month and 750 million transactions have been made with USD 30 billion in annual run rate of transaction value.

The RBI has directed all companies running payment services to store data in India by mid-October.

When contacted, a Google spokesperson said that cross border data flows today are ubiquitous and an essential phenomenon for global economic activity and universal access to information.

“Soaring data flows generate more economic value and hence the socio-economic impact of restricting data flows must be thoroughly considered while framing any policy. There is a need to find practical and contemporary solutions to policy issues in line with global best practices. We have nothing to add at this point of time,” the spokesperson said.

Pichai on September 5 wrote to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pushing for free flow of data across borders and said such a step will encourage global companies to contribute to India’s digital economy as well as benefit Indian startups that are looking at expanding globally.

Amid concern around data security, the Reserve Bank of India has asked payment services firms to provide an update on action taken by them to store transaction data in the country in every fortnight.

The directive of the RBI has seen resistance from foreign firms.

The banking regulator had further said that at present “only certain” payment system operators and their outsourcing partners store the payment system data either partly or completely in the country.

The order was issued at the time social media major Facebook faced a global backlash over breach of user data.

Google operates cloud region in India – which comprises three data centres and offers services like big data, storage and networking. Google competes with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in this space. However, the company has not explicitly states if the payment related to Indian consumers is stored in these data centres.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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