Money & Banking

Should data be stored locally only? Mastercard in talks with RBI for further clarity on norms

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on February 04, 2019 Published on February 04, 2019

There are huge benefits from operating as a global network, said Ed Mclaughlin

Global payments major Mastercard is in talks with the RBI to bring about further clarity on its data localisation norms, and whether the data have to be stored only domestically.

“In April 2018, the RBI said it would like to have a copy of the data on soil and we complied by October. The ongoing conversation we are having is on whether it has to be exclusively over here, and how long we process it,” said Ed Mclaughlin, President, Operations and Technology, Mastercard.

Underlining that safety, security and fraud monitoring services for Indian citizens are the company’s top priority, Mclaughlin, who was in India recently, said there are huge benefits from operating as a global network, such as lower cost services and better detection of fraud efficiency of operations.

He further said that from an engineering standpoint, the main objective is to create as efficient a system as possible.

“Data is heavy, and having to determine where data goes actually, works against the efficiency of the system,” he said, adding that this in turn can raise costs.

“We have fully honoured RBI guidelines and we just want to make sure that we are making informed decisions,” Mclaughlin said, adding that where the data is stored is not nearly as important as how it is being used and what it is being used for.

“I think that’s the right conversation to have, you don’t want to mix concepts up,” he told BusinessLine.

Since meeting RBI norms on data localisation, Mastercard is also working on setting up a second data centre in India, apart from its existing facility in Pune.

“We are looking at Delhi as a second site. It will give us a good geographic presence,” Mclaughlin said.

Tokenisation services

Meanwhile, Mastercard welcomed the RBI’s decision to allow card tokenisation services. Mclaughlin said there will be huge benefits from it and could give a boost to digital payments in India.

“We actually developed that and everyone thought it was a really good idea. Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung all decided to use the tokenisation standards,” he said, adding that most major banks around the world have also adopted it.

Mastercard has also worked on tokenisation with major banks in India and expects more to come after the new norms.

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Published on February 04, 2019
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