RBI Mon­i­tor­ing Pay­ments Zone: Dy Gov­er­nor

The Economic Times - - Finance & Commodities -

Mum­bai: A top In­dian cen­tral bank of­fi­cial re­jected a fed­eral plan­ner’s pro­posal of eas­ier norms for hand­phone com­pa­nies cre­at­ing mo­bile­pay­ment busi­nesses, ty­ing cus­tomer-de­posit priv­i­leges to bank­ing li­censes that en­sure pru­den­tial stan­dards on cap­i­tal safety. “The (Ratan Watal) com­mit­tee thinks of bank­ing as dif­fer­ent from pay­ments as the lat­ter is more of a tech­nol­ogy busi­ness: I beg to dif­fer,” said R Gandhi, deputy gov­er­nor, Re­serve Bank of In­dia. “Pay­ments can be en­acted only in ei­ther of two ways - one you use cash to make pay­ments, and the other you trans­fer money from your bank ac­count. Thus, mi­nus the banks, there is no other mode of pay­ment in­stru­ments.”Gandhi was speak­ing at the launch of BharatQR that fa­cil­i­tates smart­phone-based QR code-en­abled dig­i­tal pay­ments at re­tail mer­chant out­lets. He also took the op­por­tu­nity to ar­tic­u­late the RBI’s vi­sion on pay­ments and the re­cent rec­om­men­da­tions by a Com­mit­tee on Dig­i­tal Pay­ments. The com­mit­tee, headed by Ratan P Watal, prin­ci­ple ad­vi­sor in NITI Aayog, made its rec­om­men­da­tions to the fi­nance min­istry.

“Mo­bile phone com­pa­nies be­lieve that they can of­fer ac­count-based pay­ment ser­vices. If you main­tain an ac­count, then you are a bank and you need a bank­ing li­cence to op­er­ate. If you are tak­ing de­posits, then you have to be a pub­licly re­li­able en­tity and for that you need to be reg­u­lated,” said Gandhi. He said there should be free en­try of play­ers in the pay­ments space as the money in­volved is very small: How­ever, if any en­tity is tak­ing de­posits, they have to be­a­bank.“Suchafreeen­try­maynot be ap­pro­pri­ate for en­ter­ing this space. Th­ese en­ti­ties are en­trusted with pub­lic money there­fore se­lec­tion (of the right player) is of ut­most im­por­tance else it can pose a risky propo­si­tion,” said Gandhi.

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