Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue revised prepaid payments instrument guidelines for the digital wallet companies within a week i.e, by October 11, 2017. Highlighting the need for revision of guidelines for an orderly development of the PPI ecosystem, Patel said that following up on the feedback it has received on the draft guidelines, the central bank has examined it and is all set to release the fresh rules.
“It has been decided to rationalise the operational guidelines with a view to encouraging competition and innovation, and strengthening safety and security of operations, besides improving customer grievance redressal mechanisms,” said Urjit Patel, governor, RBI.
Further in a landmark announcement the governor also mentioned about interoperability of the wallet ecosystem which will pave the way for a broader scope of work for the payments players.
“In line with the Vision for Payment and Settlement Systems in the country, the revised framework will pave the way for bringing inter-operability into usage of PPIs,” he said.
Interoperability among wallets is expected to add a huge momentum to the payments industry which has seen a wave of consolidation over the last one year.
“It will help the industry develop incremental infrastructure for digital payments and bring in standardisation among different payment modes,” said Anish Williams, chief executive officer of Mumbai based PPI player Transerv.
Besides interoperability the RBI governor has also mentioned the need for fresh guidelines in order to ensure safety and security of operations as well as improvement of customer grievance redressal mechanism.
On the topic of full KYC norms for wallet players, Patel said that interoperability will be allowed between KYC compliant PPIs.
“KYC norms for wallets is a mandatory thing, but what we want the RBI to look into is the fact that the regulations should be looked at from a payments perspective rather from a traditional banking viewpoint,” said Bhavik Vasa, chief growth officer at ItzCash.
This is a pretty significant announcement as it takes away one of the big pain points with wallets, for customers – the proliferation of wallets that are needed for just one task. Right now, you need balance in your Paytm account to pay for Uber rides, and if you want to take an Ola ride, then you also need to fill up Ola Money. If you want to have a quicker check-out experience via BookMyShow that’s one more wallet, and Amazon offers discounts if you happen to use Amazon Pay.
While there are plenty of services that allow you to use multiple wallets – for example BookMyShow itself accepts most of the popular wallets, apart from credit and debit cards, net banking, and so on, even though it has its own wallet – there are still enough silos that you end up having to lock up your money with each different wallet.
With the interoperability of wallets, you might be able to fill up any one wallet and either use it directly in place of another one, or at the very least, easily transfer money between wallets so that it can be used where required.