The Reserve Bank of India issued guidelines for prepaid payment instruments (PPI) such as closed, semi-closed and open wallets. According to the new guidelines, all the PPIs will now be interoperable, which means will allow transaction with each other

  • A non-bank entity desirous of setting up payment systems for issuance of PPIs shall apply for authorisation in Form A(available on RBI website) as prescribed under Regulation 3(2) of the Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008 along with the requisite application fees.
  • The applications shall be initially screened by RBI to ensure prima facie eligibility of the applicants. The directors of the applicant entity shall submit a declaration in the enclosed format (Annex-3). Applications of those entities not meeting the eligibility criteria, or those which are incomplete / not in the prescribed form with all details, shall be returned without refund of the application fees.
  • In addition to the compliance with the applicable guidelines, RBI shall also apply checks, inter-alia, on certain essential aspects like customer service and efficiency, technical and other related requirements, safety and security aspects, etc. before granting in-principle approval to the applicants.
  • Subject to meeting the eligibility criteria and other conditions, the RBI shall issue an ‘in-principle’ approval, which shall be valid for a period of six months. The entity shall submit a satisfactory System Audit Report (SAR) to RBI within these six months, failing which the in-principle approval shall lapse automatically. SAR shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Chartered Accountant regarding compliance with the requirement of minimum positive net-worth of Rs. 5 crore. An entity can seek one-time extension for a maximum period of six months for submission of SAR by making a request in writing, to DPSS, Central Office, RBI, Mumbai, in advance with valid reasons.
  • Pursuant to receipt of satisfactory SAR and net-worth certificate, the RBI shall grant final Certificate of Authorisation.  Entities shall commence business within six months( extention allowed for next 6 months in case of valid reasons) from the grant of Certificate of Authorisation .
  • The Certificate of Authorisation shall be valid for five years.
  • Entities seeking renewal of authorisation shall apply in writing to DPSS, RBI, Central Office, Mumbai at least three months before the expiry of validity of Certificate of Authorisation.
  • Any proposed major change, such as changes in product features / process, structure or operation of the payment system, etc. shall be communicated with complete details, by way of a letter, addressed to the Chief General Manager, DPSS, RBI, Central Office, Mumbai. RBI shall endeavor to reply within 15 business days after receipt of above communication at DPSS, RBI, Central Office, Mumbai.
  • Any takeover or acquisition of control or change in management of a non-bank entity shall be communicated by way of a letter to the Chief General Manager, DPSS, RBI, Central Office, Mumbai within 15 days with complete details, including ‘Declaration and Undertaking’ (Annex-3) by each of the new directors,

PPI issuers shall ensure that the name of the company which has received approval / authorisation for issuance and operating of PPIs, is prominently displayed along with the PPI brand name in all instances. The authorised entities shall also regularly keep RBI informed regarding the brand names employed / to be employed for their products.

PPI issuers shall ensure that no interest is payable on PPI balances.

PPIs shall be permitted to be loaded / reloaded by cash, by debit to a bank account, by credit and debit cards, and other PPIs- shall be in INR only

Cash loading to PPIs shall be limited to Rs.50,000/- per month subject to overall limit of the PPI.

Issuers shall ensure preservation of records and confidentiality of customer information in their possession as well as in the possession of their authorised / designated agents.

Issuers and their authorised / designated agents shall ensure adherence to applicable laws of the land, including KYC / AML / CFT norms.

Existing non-bank PPI/wallet

Existing non-bank PPI issuers (at the time of issuance of this Master Direction) shall comply with the minimum positive net-worth requirement of Rs. 15 crore for the financial position as on March 31, 2020 (audited balance sheet). This shall be reported to RBI, along with CA certificate in the enclosed format (Annex-2) and audited Balance Sheet, by September 30, 2020 failing which the entity may not be permitted to carry out this business. Thereafter, the minimum positive net-worth of Rs. 15 crore shall be maintained at all times. Till such time, the existing PPI issuers shall continue to maintain the capital requirements applicable to them at the time of their authorisation.

PPI issuers shall maintain a log of all the transactions undertaken using the PPIs for at least ten years. This data shall be made available for scrutiny to RBI or any other agency / agencies as may be advised by RBI. The PPI issuers shall also file Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) to Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND).


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances; Before making any decisions do consult your Professional / tax advisor. For misrepresentation or interpretation of act or rules Author does not take any responsibility. Neither the author nor the firm accepts any liability for the loss or damage of any kind arising out of information in this document or for any action taken in reliance there on. The author is a Chartered Accountant and the Chief Gardener & Founder Director of Rajput Jain & Associates , a leading Tax & Investment Planning Advisory Service Provider. His blog can be found at http://carajput.com/blog/For any query you can write to info@carajput.com. Hope the information will assist you in your Professional endeavors. For query or help, contact:   info@carajput.com or call at 09811322785/4 9555 5555 480)

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