The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday proposed an action plan on payment systems which have been targeted to be achieved in the next one-to-three years, including putting in place alternate settlement arrangements in the event of non-availability of RBI as a settlement bank.

Further, a road map for National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will be finalised. NPCI has been set up as an umbrella organisation by the banking community to take over the retail payment system activities. The operations of NPCI will be permitted after due authorisation and the activities will be closely monitored.

NPCI would also undertake initiatives in India Card, a domestic card initiative; redesigning ECS to function as a true automated clearing house (ACH) for bulk transactions; and mobile payments settlement network by building a national infrastructure for facilitating real time mobile payments.

All large-value and time-critical payments will be processed only through the electronic mode. All bank branches will be enabled with Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) and MICR codes. The intention is to leave the user with the choice of product for retail and small-value transactions namely use of MICR for National Electronic Clearing Service (NECS) and IFSC for NEFT.

Operationalising MICR-Cheque Processing Centres (MICR-CPCs) will be considered at all locations that are viable and have a daily volume of 10,000 instruments or more. Speed clearing to clear outstation cheques at the centre of presentment will be extended to cover 100 major centres. Cheque truncation system (CTS) will be rolled out in Chennai.

The RBI has placed on the website the draft of ‘Payment systems in India — Vision 2009-12’ for public comments. Comments may be addressed either by post to the Chief General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Central Office, Fort, Mumbai-400001 or sent by fax at no. 022-2265 9566 or sent by e-mail on or before November 30.

More In: Economy | Business