Policy

Digital push: Insurance soon for your money in mobile wallets

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 29, 2017

RBI 2000 NOTES

Govt in talks with insurance and mobile wallet firms

The government is exploring options to insure money in mobile wallets similar to how banks offer insurance on savings accounts.

According to sources, the government is talking with the stakeholders — wallet players and insurance companies — to work on the rules.

“There have been two-three meetings between the government and stakeholders, including mobile wallet companies and banking insurance companies, to chalk out the rules,” a government official told BusinessLine.

The official said the government was also taking help from the Payments Council of India (PCI) for security audit and see how this can be taken forward.

It is also working on utilising Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), a global coding system for mobile communication, that is used to send text between a smartphone and an app in the network.

According to the official, mobile wallets are becoming popular after the government’s demonetisation move, and with the numbers growing it must be ensured that the customers’ interests are protected.

Companies such as Oxigen Services India, Paytm, Ola Money, FreeCharge, MobiKwik, SBI Buddy, TruePay, JioMoney and Airtel Money have gained a lot of customers, thanks to the government’s cashless transactions drive.

According to PCI, consumers can make use of these prepaid instruments to make online payments and transfer money to bank accounts up to ₹1 lakh a month by giving know your customer (KYC) details. The limit for individuals without KYC is ₹20,000 per month.

To meet the needs of small and micro businesses, the RBI has now allowed merchants to accept up to ₹50,000 a month using prepaid wallets. To avail themselves of this facility, small and micro businesses need to provide a self-declaration of their status and details of their bank accounts.

On December 29, 2016, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the number of e-wallet transactions had grown from 22 lakh per day on November 8 (when demonetisation was announced) to 75 lakh on December 26. And that the value of transactions more than trebled from ₹88 crore on November 8 to ₹293 crore on December 26.

Published on January 29, 2017
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