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Parliamentary Panel Proposes Forum To Redress Grievances Of Digital Payment Users

Parliamentary Panel Proposes Forum To Redress Grievances Of Digital Payment Users

The Panel Also Recommended Providing A Responsive Common Helpline (SOS) Number

Soon, there could be a forum and a mechanism for redressal of grievances of digital payment users if recommendations of the newly formed  Parliamentary panel get accepted. In order to redress the issues pertaining to digital frauds, the Veerappa Moily-headed Standing Committee on Finance has pitched for a robust dispute settlement mechanism to help identify and punish the person responsible for the fraud as well as provide speedy solutions to digital payment users in a timely manner.

The Parliamentary panel described the manifold increase in transactional hassles such as  cloning, phishing, etc. and grievances of users including ATM frauds as “disconcerting”  as India is concertedly moving  towards becoming a digital economy.

The Standing Committee on Finance in its report tabled in the Lok Sabha yesterday stated, “Ordinary customers are then left high and dry, extremely helpless and clueless about the next course of action for remedy and redressal of grievance”.

The Committee also noted that there have been  several challenges and sustained lingering issues need to be resolved as the country prepares itself to be one of the largest digital economies. It underscored the need to address issues such as unreasonable cost of digital transactions, lack of co-ordination between Central and state governments in expanding digital infrastructure, issues of quality in telecom coverage including network and inadequate telecom infrastructure.

According to an estimate by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), 175 Mn urban and 750 Mn rural users are still to be connected to the Internet. Similarly, as far as the quality of connectivity is concerned, India ranks second last in the APAC region on average speed and threshold speed parameters. The report thus called for urgent attention in this regard to achieve the stated objectives.

In India, the digital payment market is projected to reach $500 Bn by 2020, contributing 15% of India’s GDP, as per a report by Google and Boston Consulting Group. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also had released stricter guidelines on the issuance and operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), to make digital transactions a faster, more convenient and reliable option for users and more importantly, curb instances of fraud and eliminate risks.

The year 2017 ended on a high note for the Indian digital payments industry, with digital transactions reaching a new peak of 1.06 Bn in December. As per the data released by the RBI, this translates to a jump of 6.05% from the 997.1 Mn transactions clocked in November. Thus, the recommendations by the parliamentary panel on setting up a redressal mechanism for digital payment users will be another step in the direction of making digital payments more secure in India, resulting in wider adoption.

[The development was reported by Business Line]