Money & Banking

Digital payment wallets will become interoperable with new RBI norms

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2018 Published on October 16, 2018

Soon a MobiKwik wallet user will be able to send money to a Paytm user.

In what could boost the usage of mobile wallets in the country, the RBI has issued the final guidelines for interoperability among different kinds of prepaid instruments, including e-wallets, meal vouchers and gift vouchers.

However, the central bank has not made interoperability mandatory for the players. It has also not given any timeline for when the wallets can be operable. But banking sources said the first round of interoperability could emerge in two months.

Bipin Preet Singh, founder and Chief Executive Officer of MobiKwik, told BusinessLine, “The guidelines give a huge credibility to wallets — that wallets are now equal participants in the payment ecosystem in India.”

Explaining how interoperability will work, Sunil Kulkarni, Joint MD of Oxigen Wallet, said once the new norms set in, users with different mobile wallets can make seamless transactions. There will also be free flow of money from wallets to banks and vice-versa through UPI (Unified Payment Interface).

“A customer need not worry about losing their money in any particular wallet. Besides, wallets can issue debit cards by collaborating with any card network and these cards can be used for offline purchases,” he said, adding that post-interoperability, there would be no difference between a PPI and a payments bank.

Expanding footprint

Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and co-founder of digital payments firm Zeta, said, “This step is a reflection of the RBI’s approach to expand the financial network in India. It’ll result in easy and increased transactions for consumers who use multiple wallets, and make life easier for merchants as well. The payments space in India is fairly new, and networks are complex, too. This step and the subsequent phases to follow will help in the consolidation of the digital payments industry.”

The new guidelines also mention that the interoperability rules will enable wallets to issue debit cards through UPI and card networks such as MasterCard, Visa and RuPay.

Published on October 16, 2018
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