The Central Bank of India recently published a document titled – ‘Payments and Settlements System in India: Vision 2019-2021’ which explained the bank’s vision of creating a ‘cash-lite’ society. The vision document describes the RBI’s focus on a safe, secure, convenient, quick, and affordable electronic payment system.
The RBI expects to see a 4X increase in the number of digital transactions conducted by December 2021 – approximately 8,700 crores.
“While the pursuit towards a ‘less cash’ society continues, accompanied by the ambition to have a less-card India as well, the endeavour is to… serve segments of the population which are hitherto untouched by the payment systems,” the sector regulator outlined in its ‘Vision Document on the Payments and Settlements Systems for 2019-2021’.
As per the document, the banks and digital payment players have to put in place stricter security checks and control systems to ensure that the customers have a direct and fair experience. The document also emphasised on building customer awareness.
Naveen Surya, chairman od Fintech Convergence Council (FCC) said, “Giving access to all regulated entities to acquire their merchants is a positive step, especially towards NBFCs, and is an indication that there could be more access given to these players in the future.”
RBI plans on pushing for feature phone-based digital payments to smoothen digital payments in rural areas. The central bank is looking to strengthen the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) system of payments and more innovation in offline payments. The National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) is one such innovation for offline transactions.
Apart from pushing for innovation, security and safety are also significant concerns. Experts speculate a move towards international payment systems standard ISO 20022 soon, which will increase interoperability with instant payments and harmonisation of global payment platforms with domestic ones.
Some industry leaders pointed out that innovations in customer onboarding were missing in the vision document. However, they were in consensus that RBI’s suggestion to build a national settlement account for all card networks would help smoothen the process and increase efficiency in the system.