NEW DELHI: Will Cathcart, WhatsApp’s new global head, is visiting India this week to appraise officials of the Reserve Bank of India and the National Payments Corporation of India on steps taken by the company to meet data localisation norms for its planned payment service, people familiar with developments told ET.
Cathcart will also meet Niti Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant on Thursday at an event organised by WhatsApp on the need for digital inclusion and its business application. He will meet leaders of small and medium businesses in Mumbai.
A WhatsApp spokesperson did not confirm or deny meetings with RBI and NPCI officials and only said Cathcart will meet leaders to discuss WhatsApp’s support for Digital India and how the messaging service can help entrepreneurs and small businesses drive economic growth.
“Cathcart is travelling to India his new role at Facebook as global head of WhatsApp. The WhatsApp team remains deeply committed to serving the people of India with private messaging that helps connect loved ones and helps businesses grow,” the spokesperson said.
“The purpose of his visit is to meet key government officials and other relevant stakeholders,” said a person familiar with the developments. “Other officials from Facebook are not accompanying him.”
ET reported in June that WhatsApp had set up data storage facilities in India, which could pave the way for the commercial launch of its digital payments service. According to media reports, WhatsApp had wrapped up an audit on related data practices and was inching towards launching its much-delayed WhatsApp payment service in India.
WhatsApp needed to show a thirdparty auditor that all its data involving payments would be stored only on Indian servers and as per media reports, WhatsApp planned to submit the auditor’s report to the RBI.
Source: Economic Times