The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday appointed Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani as chairman of a committee to look into the digitisation of payments in India. Nilekani, who is known as the architect of the Aadhaar, and the former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman, will be aided by four other members.
The other members of the committee are RBI former deputy governor HR Khan, former managing director of Vijaya Bank Kishore Sansi, former Ministry of Information Technology secretary Aruna Sharma and Sanjay Jain, who is the Chief Innovation Officer at Center for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).
The committee, which will have 90 days to submit a report, will review the existing status of digitisation of payments in the country, identify the current gaps in the ecosystem and suggest ways to bridge them. Besides, it will also assess the current levels of digital payments in financial inclusion and chart a roadmap to accelerate digitisation of the economy.
Another area where the committee will have to look into is strengthening the safety and security of digital payments and in turn, increase customer confidence while accessing digital financial services. The Nilekani-led panel will also have to suggest a medium-term strategy for deepening of digital payments.
The development comes after an inter-ministerial committee, headed by former finance secretary Ratan Watal, recommended last year setting up of an independent Payments Regulatory Board (PRB) to regulate the digital payments sector.
The committee had recommended that the PRB would be established within the overall structure of RBI with a majority of non-RBI members nominated by the Central government.
However, the RBI had objected to the suggestions, stating that the proposed body “must remain with the Reserve Bank” and headed by the RBI Governor.
The Central bank had then said that “payment systems are actually technology based substitutes for currency” and regulation of such systems can be best done within the ambit of the RBI.
The volume of transactions on prepaid payment instruments has grown to 113.6 million as of February 2018 against 59 million in November 2016. The number of transactions made via a unified payments interface has also grown to 151.7 million as of February 2018, against 0.3 million in November 2016.
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