With an aim to make payment and settlement system more safe in the country, the Reserve Bank proposed to proactively promote electronic transactions for ushering in a ‘less-cash’ economy.
Seeking public comments on the ‘Payments System Vision Document 2012-15′, RBI said the document envisages by ways and means of ensuring that “payment and settlement systems in the country are safe, efficient, interoperable, authorised, accessible, inclusive and compliant with international standards”.
Accordingly, the Vision Document proposes to “proactively encourage electronic payment systems for ushering in a less-cash society in India”. Pitching to move towards less-cash economy, the RBI proposes that “for non-cash payments to proliferate, they should be easy to use, readily available and accepted, should not impose any undue financial burden on the merchant and user, and should offer an appropriate level of security”.
The document also suggested for development of pricing strategy to encourage access to modern electronic payment systems to all.RBI noted that one of the biggest challenges towards a less-cash society is that dependency on cash is a deep rooted habit in India.
The government has mandated that all payments by government departments above Rs 25,000 have to be made
electronically, it said. The RBI is also for interoperability and portability in all payment systems including mobile payments. It has suggested Aadhaar-based payments in consultation with stakeholders.
The overall regulatory policy stance, RBI document said, is towards promoting a less cash/less paper society, the “green” initiative, and hence the increased emphasis on the “use of electronic payment products and services” that can be accessed anywhere and anytime by all at affordable prices.
The vision statement sets out the roadmap to ensure benefits of a structured modern payment and settlement systems, including innovative products, to reach out beyond the currently served target groups thereby facilitating greater financial inclusion.
Earlier this month, the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had asked RBI to work out a mechanism to ensure that banks charge no fee from customers for electronic transfer of funds.
“I would urge upon RBI to proactively work on this front and to see that all electronic banking transactions should be possible without any charges being levied,” Mukherjee had said. The central bank had earlier published a Vision Document outlining the course of action that would be undertaken in the
field of payment and settlement systems over a three year period 2009-2012.
“The tasks laid out in the earlier document have been completed to a large extent. The new Vision Document intends to take the Mission further to meet the growing payment needs of the nation,” the RBI added.