Invites comments on ‘Payment System Vision Document 2012-15’ by July 31

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), on Wednesday, said that it planned to enhance the availability and acceptability of alternative payment instruments in lieu of cash to move towards less-cash economy and promote ‘mobile wallets’ as a single instrument for carrying out financial transactions.

“The level of customer protection available in paper transactions and electronic transactions in India varies. In paper transactions in the case of fraudulent or unauthorised transactions, the responsibility to prove ‘good-faith’ lies with the banks, whereas in electronic transactions, the onus mostly lies with the customers,” said RBI in its ‘Payment System Vision Document 2012-15’, which was released on Wednesday for public discussion. Comments can be sent to the RBI by July 31.

The report suggested that the central bank would promote convergence of mobile technology and various form factors that could lead to mobile becoming a single instrument for carrying out financial transactions.

However, it said, “in order to encourage electronic modes of payment, it is necessary that customers should enjoy the same level of protection as is available for paper-based transactions if not more.”

It also suggested that to put in place a transaction limit for payments made by cash and /or cheque and promote use of pre-paid payment instruments as cash substitute.

The document envisages ways and means of ensuring that “payment and settlement systems in the country are safe, efficient, interoperable, authorised, accessible, inclusive and compliant with international standards”. Accordingly, it proposes to “proactively encourage electronic payment systems for ushering in a less-cash society in India” as its vision.

The Reserve Bank had earlier published a vision document outlining the course of action that would be undertaken in the field of payment and settlement systems over a three-year period, which was known as ‘Payment systems in India — m Vision 2009-12’. “The tasks laid out in this document have been completed to a large extent. The new vision document intends to take the mission further to meet the growing payment needs of the nation,” the RBI said.

More In: Economy | Business