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RBI To Roll Out Offline-Based Digital Payments Through Cards, Wallets

RBI To Roll Out Offline-Based Digital Payments Through Cards, Wallets

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said that a pilot would be launched soon for offline digital payments

Das said that the service would boost adoption of digital payments in areas with no or patchy internet connection

Das also said that startups have been included in priority sector lending to help them avail credit facilities

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Thursday (August 6), announced a host of measures to boost digital payments in the country. Among the announcements made by RBI governor Shaktikanta Das was a soon to be launched pilot for offline-based digital payments which won’t require internet connectivity. 

The RBI governor, while observing that the lack of internet access in some areas was proving to be an impediment in the adoption of digital payments, said that an option for off-line payments through cards, wallets and mobile devices is expected to help in this regard. 

Das added that the details of the pilot project for the service would be announced soon. 

Recently, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) also launched the UPI AutoPay feature to enable e-mandate for recurring transactions, and a RuPay business credit card for small business and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

Both offerings are expected to further the growth in digital payments. With the launch of UPI in 2016, the digital payments market in India received a boost and is expected to scale, in terms of volume, from $5.35 Bn in FY19 to $59.77 billion in FY23 at a CAGR of 287%.

ODR Mechanism For Digital Payments Soon

Das also announced the introduction of an online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanism for digital payments.

In a statement following the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, Das said, “A scheme of retail payments in offline mode using cards and mobile devices, and a system of on online dispute resolution (ODR) mechanism for digital payments will also be introduced.”

“Recourse to technology-driven redressal mechanisms that are rule-based, transparent and involve minimum (or no) manual intervention is necessary to deal with them in a timely and effective manner,” the statement read.

In 2019, an RBI-appointed committee headed by the non-executive chairman of Infosys, Nandan Nilekani, suggested a host of measures to boost digital payments in the country, including an online dispute resolution system to handle complaints. Other suggestions were elimination of charges, round the clock RTGS and NEFT facility and duty-free import of point-of-sales machines.

The RBI governor announced that priority sector lending guidelines for banks have been amended to help startups avail credit facilities. 

“With a view to align the guidelines with emerging national priorities and bring a sharper focus on inclusive development, the guidelines have been reviewed after wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders,” Das said.

The RBI governor noted that supply chain disruptions in the economy persist, also adding that inflation pressures were evident across segments. Further, it was conceded that India’s real GDP growth for 2020-21 was likely to be negative. “Inflation remains elevated in the second quarter but is likely to ease while the recovery in the rural economy is expected to be robust,” said Das.