Mastercard to delete Indian cardholders’ data from global servers

Global payments and technology company Mastercard has decided to delete data of all Indian cardholders from its global servers. The company has also warned the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that this will result in weak safety and security over a period of time.

Mastercard has committed a “certain” date from which it will start deleting the data of Indian consumers from global servers. The data localization directive issued by the RBI in April 2018 came into effect from October 16. The directive requires fintech and payment companies to store all transaction data of Indian consumers on servers within the country.

To comply with the directive, Mastercard started storing the transaction data at its technology center in Pune from October 6. However, the data of past transaction is still stored on global servers. Mastercard has given a proposal to RBI to delete the data of all Indian customers from a certain date.

In an interaction with PTI, Mastercard’s India President, Porush Singh said, “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 the data. But we have also said that it does have an impact. No other country has asked us like that. No other country in the world has asked us the data to be deleted from the global server and the reason why it is a concern for us because that would be weakening of the safety, security over a period of time.”

Singh said that the company has submitted a timeline for deleting historical data. He also said that the company has submitted a report of how this move can have a long-term impact on consumers. The possible impact will include dispute over transactions. Deletion of transaction data is not a simple process like pressing a button, it involves validating entries from multiple players and stakeholders.

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