MobiKwik and Hip Bar slammed with penalty worth Rs 26 lakh from RBI

While MobiKwik is subjected to a fine of Rs 15 lakh (on May 17 this year); Hip Bar was fined a penalty of Rs 10.85 lakh (on May 24 this year).

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has levied a penalty of about Rs 25.85 lakh on two payment companies, Gurugram-based payments startup MobiKwik and Chennai-based Hip Bar, the apex bank said in a statement. 

In a statement released, RBI said,

“In exercise of powers vested under Section 30 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, the Reserve Bank of India has imposed monetary penalty on the following Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers for non-compliance of regulatory guidelines.”

While MobiKwik is subjected to a fine of Rs 15 lakh (on May 17 this year); Hip Bar was fined a penalty of Rs 10.85 lakh (on May 24 this year). 

In a statement to YourStory, MobiKwik said,

"The penalty is for procedural non-compliance due to a technical issue. It was observed more than a year ago when changes in the procedural norms were being implemented. We have taken necessary steps and corrective actions to remediate the issue.”

Image: AFP

Past efforts from the RBI

Recently, this May, the RBI released its vision document for the payment and settlement systems in India outlining the roadmap for 2019-2021.

With concerted efforts and involvement of all stakeholders, the roadmap for Vision 2021 cited 36 specific action points over the 36-month timeframe for achieving 12 specific outcomes.

Among these outcomes, RBI said that it expects payment infrastructure like the UPI and IMPS to register average annualised growth of over 100 percent. Further, the apex bank expected that number of digital transactions is expected to increase more than four times from 2,069 crore in December 2018 to 8,707 crore in December 2021.

In February, the RBI also decided to grant a six-month extension to digital wallets and other payment players to complete KYC (Know Your Customer) of customers using the platform, based on requests from various stakeholders.

The earlier deadline for players to comply with the KYC guideline was set for February 28, 2019. 

Further, in May, RBI also stated that banks can use Aadhaar for KYC verification with the customer's consent, as it updated its list of documents eligible for identification of individuals.

UPDATE: This story has been revised to reflect a statement from MobiKwik.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)