Priyanka Pani

The Reserve Bank of India is likely to unveil this month the final guidelines for digital wallets to be interoperable. The banking regulator also wants the wallet players to integrate the functions and procedures by the end of June.

“The final guidelines on interoperability are likely to come this month. The RBI is working with the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) and a few other groups to frame the guidelines, but these are complex processes and systems and everyone wants to be 100 per cent sure before the final roll-out. Technology has to be tested, and hence, it is taking time,” said a banker requesting anonymity.

The RBI, in its master directions for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), had proposed the idea of interoperability among digital wallets within six months, following which digital wallets present in the ecosystem will be able to interact or transact with each other.

At present, a user of a wallet, such as Paytm, can only send or receive money through another Paytm account. Once wallets become interoperable, users will be able to transact with each other, irrespective of the platform they have subscribed to.

Sources said that the RBI wants to test out the whole process with 10 digital wallets initially, and added that the central bank wants to make the NPCI the “centre of switch” for all kinds of transactions.

However, the focus and push would remain on UPI transactions. The NPCI did not respond to an e-mail query on the issue.