Could data localization rules hamper the growth of mobile money?
Cross-border data flows are key to enabling the digital economy and as such, the development of data localization requirements is becoming a major area of concern for mobile and digital players. This is particularly true for e-commerce and internet-enabled services within countries as they rely on the movement of data internationally. Recently, a growing number of emerging economies have adopted data localization requirements as part of their efforts to regulate cross-border data flows.
This paper explores the implications of data localization rules on the mobile money business and argues that such regulatory requirements may dramatically hamper the growth of mobile money in general, and of mobile money-enabled international remittances in particular. There are more subtle and direct mechanisms that governments can use to facilitate cross-border flows of data in a way while ensuring data security and data privacy.