Special Correspondent

Banks may enter into multilateral arrangement and create mobile switches

Will enable funds transfer on a real

time basis

KYC applicable for customers opting

for the service

MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India’s panel on Thursday recommended that banks when they offer mobile payments service must ensure that customers having mobile phones of any network operator should be in a position to request for service.

Restriction, if any, to the customers of particular mobile operator may be only during the pilot phase, the RBI stated in a draft operating guidelines for mobile payments in India.

Long-term goal

The RBI panel recommended that banks should get the mobile payments scheme approved by their respective boards or local board (for foreign banks) before offering it to their customers.

The board approval must document the extent of operational and fraud risk assumed by the bank and the bank’s processes and policies designed to mitigate such risk.

Banks which have already started offering mobile payment service may review the position and comply to these guidelines within three months from the issuance of these guidelines, it stated.

The long-term goal of mobile payment framework in India, the RBI said, would be to enable funds transfer from an account in one bank to any other account in the same or any other bank on a real time basis irrespective of mobile network a customer has subscribed to.

This would require inter-operability between mobile payments service providers and banks and development of a host of message formats.

Banks may keep this objective while developing solution or entering into arrangements with mobile payments solution providers.

Infrastructure

To meet the long-term objective of a nation-wide mobile payment framework, a robust clearing and settlement infrastructure operating on a 24x7 basis would be necessary. Pending creation of such an infrastructure on a national basis, banks may enter in to multilateral arrangement and create mobile switches or inter-bank payment gateways with expressed permission from the RBI.

The RBI said that its guidelines on ‘Know Your Customer (KYC)’ and ‘Anti Money Laundering (AML)’ as prescribed by the RBI from time to time would be applicable to customers opting for mobile-based banking service. The RBI said that the services should be restricted to only to bank accounts and credit card accounts in India which are KYC and AML compliant and only Indian rupee-based services should be provided.

Registration

Banks should offer mobile-based banking service only to their own customers and banks should have a system of registration before commencing mobile-based payment service to a customer. Prior registration of the customers would be necessary irrespective of the type of service requested.

For the standard level service, one time registration should be done through a signed document.