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US Official Asks India to Look Into Central Bank’s Mastercard Ban, Report Says

A U.S. trade official has issues with India’s decision earlier this year to bar Mastercard from issuing new cards, Reuters reported.

Brendan A. Lynch, the deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for South and Central Asia, said the move by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was “draconian” and caused panic, according to Reuters, which cited an email.

“We’ve started hearing from stakeholders about some pretty draconian measures that the RBI has taken over the past couple days,” Lynch wrote, per Reuters, in the July 16 email, two days after the Mastercard announcement.

The documents show the controversy in the U.S. government after India’s central bank took actions against Mastercard along with other companies like American Express and Diners Club International, Reuters reported.

Lynch said it “sounds like some others (Amex, Diners) may have been impacted by similar actions recently,” and colleagues in India ought to get in touch with central bank contacts and “see what’s going on,” according to Reuters.

RBI has said the companies are guilty of breaking local data storage rules, Reuters reported.

The rules make it so foreign card networks must store Indian payments data locally for “unfettered supervisory access,” according to Reuters. They were put in place after failed lobbying efforts by U.S. firms that had negative effects on Washington and New Delhi trade.

Mastercard officials have said the company has had “very constructive engagements with the Indian and U.S. governments over the past few weeks and appreciate the support of both,” Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Mastercard is also keeping its partnership going with the United Arab Emirates to help bolster payments in that region. The arrangement will endeavor to better technology and make more sustainable cities.

Read more: Mastercard, Dubai Asset Management Team on Expanding Use of Payments App in UAE

Ahmed Al Suwaidi, executive director of Dubai Asset Management, said the idea is to create a seamless experience.

“More than eight in 10 residents regularly use our integrated platform, and we are committed to strengthen it even more in the future,” he said.

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