Mastercard card holders alert

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In response to a new regulation issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April this year, global card payments major Mastercard has proposed a certain date from which it will start deleting data of Indian cardholders from global servers.



In response to a new regulation issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April this year, global card payments major Mastercard has proposed a certain date from which it will start deleting data of Indian cardholders from global servers but warned that it would also mean weakening of “safety and security” over a period of time. RBI’s new regulation, which came to effect from October 16, asks the payment companies to store all information about transactions involving Indians solely on computers in the country.



Speaking to PTI, Porush Singh, India and Division President, South Asia, MasterCard, said that even though the company is operating in about 200 countries, India is the only one where it has been asked to delete data from global servers. The company had announced in October this year that new Indian transaction data is being stored at its technology centre in Pune, following RBI’s directive on data localisation.

What it means for Mastercard card users?

Singh said that Mastercard has given a proposal to the RBI to delete back data from certain date but is wary of consequences of such a move, including disputes over transactions. “The proposal we have given (to RBI) is that we will delete it (data) from everywhere else, whether it is the card number, transaction details. The data will only be stored in India … We will start deleting that…,” Singh said.



The company believes that localisation of data might lead to weakening of safety, security over a period of time. Singh said the company is planning to go as per the dateline, which it has submitted to the RBI.

“I do not want to wait. As far as we are concerned, we have said this is the date earliest we can do… And this is going to be impact in the longer term which you need to consider,” he added. Singh said that the company is still waiting for the Reserve Bank’s approval on the date after which it will start deleting data from global servers.



Why deleting data takes time?

According to Singh, the process is not simple like “pressing a button”. He said that the process of deletion requires multiple layers and stakeholders. “This is because people can charge you…Dispute the transactions, that all in process … It needs multiple players, multiple stakeholders. We have given them (RBI) a proposal and we are waiting for them to confirm back,” he said.

When asked what would be the cost of data localisation, Singh said there will be “incremental cost”.



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