In what may be an indication of battle lines being drawn between Indian and global companies, Flipkart-owned payment company PhonePe has supported the Reserve Bank of India’s on of data.

joins Paytm, which has been clamouring for global companies to set up data centres within India.

However, PhonePe sought an exception for global payment networks such as Visa and Mastercard and global remittance companies, saying they should be allowed to mirror data that is originally stored in India. This would facilitate uninterrupted services to Indian consumers when they use their physical cards globally, it said.

“We strongly believe that data localisation is critical for the long-term security of any country’s financial services . For the record, Phone-Pe processes all payment transactions in India. We also store all our data on India servers only,” a company team wrote in a blog published on Wednesday.

PhonePe, which was included in the deal when US retail giant Walmart bought out Flipkart, said that while foreign direct investment is important for India, there is no contradiction in having a strong data localisation policy.

India needs a strong data localisation policy to help insulate the country from attacks by both foreign state and nonstate actors and from global sanctions, PhonePe said.

Without a strong data policy, the RBI, which is responsible for Indians’ financial transaction data, will not be able to control the use or misuse of the same, it said.

On rival Google, which operates Google Pay, Phone-Pe said: “We believe Google needs to clarify its stand more crisply. Is Google confirming that it will process and store all payment transactions related data only within Indian boundaries?”

PhonePe said the data localisation policy will “allow for better regulatory oversight and plug business-jurisdiction related loopholes that some foreign companies have long exploited to evade paying fair taxes in India.”

PhonePe said that data storage within India will only bring and Google under the Indian tax jurisdiction and prevent them from sharing the financial data of users in the country with platforms such as Ads and Adwords.



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