NEFT to be available 24x7 from Dec 2019: RBI
Mumbai, Aug 7 (KNN) The National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system will be available on a 24x7 basis from December 2019, a move that according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will revolutionize the retail payments system of the country.
While releasing the statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies, RBI sets out various developmental and regulatory policy measures in the areas of Financial Markets; Payment and Settlement Systems; Banking Regulation, Financial Inclusion and Credit flow to NBFCs.
On Payment and Settlement Systems, the apex bank said, “Currently, the NEFT payment system operated by the Reserve Bank as a retail payment system is available for customers from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm on all working days of the week (except 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month).”
As mentioned in the Payment System Vision 2021 document, the Reserve Bank will make available the NEFT system on a 24x7 basis from December 2019. This is expected to revolutionise the retail payments system of the country.
On expansion of Biller Categories for Bharat Bill Payment System, RBI said, “The Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), an interoperable platform for repetitive bill payments, currently covers five segments viz., (i) direct-to-home (DTH); (ii) electricity; (iii) gas; (iv) telecom; and (v) water bills.”
In order to leverage the advantages of the BBPS and harness its full potential, RBI has decided to permit all categories of billers (except prepaid recharges) who provide for recurring bill payments to participate in BBPS on a voluntary basis.
Apart from digitisation of cash-based bill payments, these segments would also benefit from the standardised bill payment experience for customers, centralised customer grievance redressal mechanism, prescribed customer convenience fee and the like. Detailed instructions in this regard will be issued by the end of September 2019, said the country’s central bank.
‘On-tap’ Authorisation for Retail Payment Systems, RBI said, As announced in the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies of June 6, 2018, the Reserve Bank published a policy paper on January 21, 2019 for public consultation on minimising concentration risk in retail payment systems from a financial stability perspective.
It said based on the comments/feedback received from a wide array of individuals, public and private entities, institutions and industry associations suggested the need to encourage more players to participate in and promote pan-India payment platforms.
Accordingly, in order to benefit from diversification of risk as also to encourage innovation and competition, it has been decided to offer ‘on tap’ authorisation to entities desirous to function/operate/provide platforms for Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU); Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS); and White Label ATMs (WLAs).
Instructions to this effect will be issued by the end of September 2019.
RBI has also decided to create a Central Payments Fraud Information Registry.
At present, there is a mechanism in place for banks to report all banking frauds to the Central Fraud Monitoring Cell of the Reserve Bank. With the digital payment ecosystem making substantial progress in terms of growth of payment infrastructure as well as volume and value of digital payment transactions, fraud risk monitoring and management by the stakeholders have assumed importance.
“It has always been the endeavour of the Reserve Bank to improve the confidence of customers in the payment systems. The Payment System Vision 2021 also envisages a framework for collecting data on frauds in the payment systems,” RBI said.
In order to carry forward these efforts and ensure quick and systemic responses, it is proposed to facilitate the creation of a Central Payment Fraud Registry that will track these frauds. Payment system participants will be provided access to this registry for near-real time fraud monitoring. The aggregated fraud data will be published to educate customers on emerging risks. A detailed framework in this regard will be put in place by the end of October 2019, said the apex bank. (KNN Bureau)