RBI Monetary Policy: Offline Payment Aggregators come under regulatory purview; on parity now with online peers
"Keeping in view the similar nature of activities undertaken by online and offline PAs, it is proposed to apply the current regulations to offline PAs as well," Das said after announcing bi-monthly policy
Offline payment aggregators (PAs) providing face-to-face transaction services at merchant outlets will now come under the regulatory purview of the Reserve Bank of India. The announcement was made by Governor Shaktikanta Das during his Monetary Policy speech, on Friday.
"Online Payment Aggregators (PAs) have been brought under the purview of RBI regulations since March 2020. It is now proposed to extend these regulations to offline PAs, who handle proximity/ face-to-face transactions. This measure is expected to bring in regulatory synergy and convergence on data standards," Das said.
"Keeping in view the similar nature of activities undertaken by online and offline PAs, it is proposed to apply the current regulations to offline PAs as well," Das said after announcing the bi-monthly policy review.
The move which is aimed at bringing "convergence on standards of data collection and storage" will ensure that companies do not store customer details related to credit and debit cards.
PAs play an important role in the payments ecosystem and hence were brought under regulations in March 2020 and designated as Payment System Operators (PSOs), a PTI report said quoting the RBI Governor.
However, the current regulations are applicable only to PAs processing online or e-commerce transactions, he said, adding that they do not cover offline PAs who handle proximity/face-to-face transactions and play a significant role in the spread of digital payments.
Meanwhile, Das also announced that the criteria for regional rural banks (RRBs) to be eligible to provide internet banking to their customers are being rationalised.
"Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are currently allowed to provide Internet Banking facility to their customers, subject to fulfilment of certain criteria. Keeping in view the need to promote the spread of digital banking in rural areas, these criteria are being rationalised. The revised guidelines will be issued separately," Das said.
The RRBs are currently allowed to provide Internet Banking facility to their customers with prior approval of the Reserve Bank, subject to fulfilment of certain financial and non-financial criteria, he said.
Das said the decision has been taken keeping in view the need to promote the spread of digital banking in rural areas and added that guidelines will be issued on the same soon.
Inputs from PTI
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