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Mastercard barred from onboarding customers in India for breaking data storage rules

Mastercard barred from onboarding customers in India for breaking data storage rules

The Reserve Bank of India has told Mastercard to stop onboarding all new credit, debit and prepaid card customers in the country, accusing the firm of violating data storage rules.

In a statement, the central bank says the ban on on-boarding new cardholders begins on 22 July and is indefinite. The order does not affect existing Mastercard users.

Says the RBI: "Notwithstanding lapse of considerable time and adequate opportunities being given, the entity [Mastercard] has been found to be non-compliant with the directions on Storage of Payment System Data".

Under data storage rules from 2018, all payment system providers were given six months to ensure that full end-to-end transaction details were stored in systems only in India. The rule change was designed to "ensure better monitoring" of data.

Mastercard - along with Visa, American Express, PayPal, Amazon and the US government - lobbied against the rule when it was first introduced.

The RBI took similar action against American Express and Diners Club in April. However, Mastercard has a far larger presence in the vast and fast-growing Indian market.

Just last month, Mastercard looked to deepen its presence in the country, making an undisclosed equity investment in Instamojo, a provider of e-commerce technology to micro businesses and gig workers.

Comments: (3)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 15 July, 2021, 09:241 like 1 like

In "accusing the *firms* of violating data storage rules", did you mean MasterCard, in which case the plural "firms" is a typo OR did you mean Issuer Banks, in which case the plural is correct?

This is a non-trivial question since, AFAIK, MasterCard does not sell or onboard new customers of its debit card and credit card, only Issuer Banks do. A ban on adding new customers would mean MasterCard can't sign up any more Issuer Banks for its cards. IMO, that's not such a big deal given that all Issuer Banks that wanted to issue MasterCard have already done so.

If RBI outlawed all existing MasterCard debit cards and credit cards, that could move the needle on MasterCard's compliance of said law.

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 15 July, 2021, 13:121 like 1 like

Typo, should be "firm". However, the ban means that Mastercard partner banks can't issue new Mastercard cards to their customers.

Here's the RBI notice: https://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=51895

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 15 July, 2021, 15:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Fine thanks...

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