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 transactions 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 the 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 crores. An entity can seek a 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( extension 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 the 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 endeavour to reply within 15 business days after receipt of the 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 the overall limit of the PPI.
Issuers shall ensure the 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 crores for the financial position as of March 31, 2020 (audited balance sheet). This shall be reported to RBI, along with the 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 crores 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).