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RBI releases payments systems roadmap for a ‘cash-lite’ India

RBI targets 2022 for its initiatives to be successfully completed; document has broadly identified four broad areas for targeted policy intervention.

ET Bureau|
Updated: May 16, 2019, 05.22 PM IST
It also expects the ‘cash-on-delivery’ method, which currently makes for the most significant transaction method by customers, to reduce in this time.
Mumbai: A four-fold increase in digital payments, reduction in paper-based transactions, improved pricing, better customer grievance redressal mechanisms and establishment of new payment system operators (PSO) are among the list of twelve objectives the Reserve Bank of India seeks to achieve in the next three years.

Payment and Settlement System in India Vision 2019-21 document published by the central bank on Wednesday has laid out a comprehensive roadmap of initiatives to be undertaken by all stakeholders and governing bodies to ensure the successful completion of these objectives in this time.

“While the pursuit towards a ‘less cash’ society continues, accompanied by the ambition to have a lesscard India as well, the endeavour is to also ensure increased efficiency, uninterrupted availability of safe, secure, accessible and affordable payment systems as also to serve segments of the population which are hitherto untouched by the payment systems,” the Reserve Bank said. The Reserve Bank has identified four broad areas for targeted policy intervention to improve the existing payments system — competition, cost, convenience and confidence.

The central bank noted that cardbased transactions will see a sixfold increase in the next three years propelling the Indian economy to a ‘cash-lite’ one.

It also expects the ‘cash-on-delivery’ method, which currently makes for the most significant transaction method by customers, to reduce in this time.

Further, the apex regulator also mulled on increasing the transaction limit and extending the duration window for NEFT and RTGS transactions. A universal payment solution for users without internet and smartphone will also be considered for future development.

“Though mobile internet speed has risen, connectivity issues remain unresolved in large areas.

Therefore, providing an option of offline payments through mobile devices for furthering the adoption of digital payments shall be a focus area during this Vision period,” the Reserve Bank said.

The Reserve Bank reiterated that systematic regulatory changes and expected increase in competition would render payment services channels cheaper in the next three years, according to RBI.

“The pricing of such services to customers should, over the vision period, show reduction of at least a 100 bps from current levels…a shift from ad valorem rates to per transaction rates is envisaged, as usage of a system is irrespective of the value of a transaction,” according to the document.

Other initiatives customer protection and fraud management initiatives such as setting up of 24*7 helpline number, a more comprehensive ombudsman scheme and regulation of payment aggregators have been planned by the RBI as well.

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