The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday said that banks and non-bank entities should make their wallets, or prepaid payment instruments, interoperable through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) within six months with a view to making electronic payments seamless.
However, interoperability will only be allowed for wallets which are compliant with Know Your Customer norms. “In the first phase, prepaid payment instrument issuers (both bank and non-bank entities) should make all KYC-compliant PPIs issued in the form of wallets interoperable amongst themselves through UPI. In subsequent phases, interoperability shall be enabled between wallets and bank accounts through UPI,” the RBI said in the Master Directions on Issuance and Operation of PPIs. Similarly, interoperability for PPIs issued in the form of cards will also be enabled in due course, it said.
PPIs should be reloadable in nature and issued only in electronic form, including cards. The amount outstanding should not exceed Rs 1,00,000 at any point of time. “The funds can be transferred ‘back to source’ (payment source from where the PPI was loaded) or ‘own bank account of the PPI holder’ (duly verified by the Issuer),” the RBI said.
According to the RBI, PPIs will be permitted to be loaded or reloaded by cash, by debit to a bank account, by credit and debit cards, and other PPIs (as permitted from time to time). “The electronic loading or reloading of PPIs will be through above payment instruments issued only by regulated entities in India and will be in the rupee only. Cash loading to PPIs will be limited to Rs 50,000 per month subject to overall limit of the PPI,” the RBI said. The RBI said PPIs may be issued as cards, wallets, and any such form / instrument which can be used to access the PPI and to use the amount therein. PPIs in the form of paper vouchers cannot issued. Banks will be permitted to issue and reload PPIs at their branches, ATMs and through their business correspondents appointed as per the guidelines issued by the RBI.
Bank and non-bank Issuers will be permitted to issue semi-closed PPIs after obtaining minimum details of the PPI holder. The minimum details should include mobile number verified with OTP and self-declaration of name and unique identification number of any of the ‘officially valid document’. The RBI said semi-closed PPIs can be issued by mass transit system operators after authorisation to issue and operate such PPIs under the PSS Act. The PPI-MTS should necessarily contain the Automated Fare Collection application related to the transit service to qualify as PPI-MTS.
Apart from the mass transit system, such PPI-MTS can be used only at other merchants whose activities are allied, related to or are carried on within the premises of the transit system.