Soon, mobile wallets Paytm, MobiKwik and others to transact with each other

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The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday said it would allow interoperability among Know Your Customer- compliant Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI), including mobile wallets, within six months of issuing the revised Master Directions.

These are expected by October 11, 2017.

 

Interoperability among e-wallets has been a long pending demand as many claim banks and UPI integrated systems have an unfair advantage as their systems are fully interoperable.

The RBI had issued a draft circular to revise PPI norms in March 2017. At that time, it had suggested interoperability among PPI instruments, stating they could be loaded or recharged from another PPI. The RBI had then said:

“Fund transfers from such PPIs to bank accounts and also to PPIs of same issuers (and to PPIs issued by other issuers as and when enabled) shall not exceed Rs 10,000/- per month.”

Under the Payment and Settlements Act, 2005, payment instruments or PPIs facilitate the purchase of goods and services to the extent of the value stored in them, and may also include fund transfers.

In its draft circular in March, the RBI had proposed to tighten norms, flagging issues around KYC. According to earlier provisions, a user could hold up to Rs 10,000 under a ‘minimum information’ PPI account.

KYC is a process through which banks and other financial institutions obtain information about customers' identity and address, helping to ensure that services are not misused.

RBI's new draft norm issued in March proposed PPI users convert ‘minimum information’ accounts to full KYC-compliant accounts. It also brings under its purview semi-closed PPIs. Popular digital wallets including Paytm, MobiKwik, and Freecharge fall under this category. The move had come under criticism as industry participants claimed it would increase customer acquisition cost.

Full KYC details allow customers to top up their wallets to up to Rs 1 lakh.

Reacting to today's announcement, Bipin Preet Singh, Founder & CEO of MobiKwik, said,

“Interoperability was one of the key challenges in increasing the adoption of digital payments in India, and RBI’s latest direction in this regard will provide a homogenous environment for the growth of mobile wallets.”

"Further, for the user, this means they do not have to download another wallet if they already have MobiKwik," explained Bipin. "They can pay across the merchant network of any other PPI. This helps us widen our reach and brings enormous value to our business."

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