How is India regulating secure platforms for digital payments?

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With the year that has gone by, a lot more has changed in each of our lives than just working/learning from home. Each of us has struggled with withdrawal from aspects of our daily ‘normal’ lives, and we continue to struggle even today, a year later. You could ask a bunch of people what got them through the year, and you’d receive responses like talking to your buddies on House Party, meditation, memes, online shopping, doing a bunch of Instagram trends, Netflix binges, the Chloe Ting Workout Program, helping fellow citizens in need of COVID resources during the second wave, the list is endless.

How is India regulating secure platforms for digital payments?

With the year that has gone by, a lot more has changed in each of our lives than just working/learning from home. Each of us has struggled with withdrawal from aspects of our daily ‘normal’ lives, and we continue to struggle even today, a year later. You could ask a bunch of people what got them through the year, and you’d receive responses like talking to your buddies on House Party, meditation, memes, online shopping, doing a bunch of Instagram trends, Netflix binges, the Chloe Ting Workout Program, helping fellow citizens in need of COVID resources during the second wave, the list is endless.

 

When you look at these responses, one common factor stands out. Technology got us through. In a year where we have been further apart from other human beings, physically, we all came closer together through technology. With this unprecedented spike in our dependence on technological devices and the internet came another huge spike, the growth in data and data flow. Essentially, your phone knows every single thing you’ve done from the minute you wake up until you go to bed.

According to Bart Willemsen, Vice President Analyst, Gartner, “People are actively demanding privacy protection — and legislators are reacting. If your organization operates globally, focus on standardizing operations in accordance with GDPR, and then adjust as required for local requirements.”
Why is data privacy so important?

It isn’t just about companies having access to all of your information. The internet has operated as a global network without borders, and governments now realize the need to regulate it to give it a semblance of control. Data protection laws aim to regulate that data collection by making the whole process more transparent, putting us back in control of our data. These laws aim to empower us to know who has our data, how it is being used, and why.

 

Protecting consumer privacy in the pandemic-era 

Now, the Government of India has placed a spotlight on data regulations and tech policies in 2020. One of the more significant highlights is The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (“PDPB”), which was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology. The bill aims to introduce compliance requirements in all areas of personal data, introduce individual data protection rights and appoint a central body to regulate this. It is also working on regulations when it comes to non-personal data, health data, financial data, and data related to consumer-facing services like e-commerce.

Of these, the protection of financial data and having safe digital payment portals stands out for obvious reasons. We have all heard of someone we know being a victim of a hacked account, a stolen identity, debit card fraud, and other data breaches, and banks, merchants, and payment providers are increasingly feeling the need to double down on the security of their digital ecosystems. According to Gartner’s predictions for the future of privacy, “privacy is becoming a reason for consumers to purchase a product, in the same way that “organic,” “free trade,” and “cruelty-free” labels have driven product sales in the past decade.” A report by KPMG also states that India is expected to witness a 78 % increase in digital payments in the upcoming months.
In 2018, the RBI put together a set of directions to localize data storage to ensure all data relating to payment systems, including end-to-end transaction details, would only be stored in a system in India. In February 2021, as part of itsaim to double down on financial data security, the government worked with the RBI as well as third parties to establish a set of rules aimed at further regulating and protecting digital payments in India.
The 22 pages of ‘Master Direction on Digital Payment Security Controls’ ask for “regulated entities to set up a robust governance structure for such systems and implement common minimum standards of security controls for channels like internet, mobile banking, card payments, among others. While the guidelines will be technology and platform agnostic, it will create an enhanced and enabling environment for customers to use digital payment products in a more safe and secure manner.”
Looking forward
As the government encourages the move towards cashless and as we move towards a post-COVID landscape, it becomes more and more imperative that it introduces regulations that build trust, encourage financial independence, enhance transparency and traceability of transactions while building secure systems to reduce cybersecurity fraud. With such policies being put in place, the future of digital payments and data privacy looks bright, with Gartner’s predictions for the future of privacy suggesting that “by 2023, 65% of the world’s population will have its personal information covered under modern privacy regulations, up from 10% today.”
This is a partnered post. 

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