The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said it will install an ombudsman scheme for digital financial transactions by January 2019. To boost customer confidence, the central bank in a statement said there was a need for a cost-free and fast grievance redressal mechanism for digital financial transactions.
The scheme will address grievances on fraud and failure of payment related to pre-paid instruments (PPIs) of payments, including cards and digital wallets.
Anand Kumar Bajaj, former innovation chief at Yes Bank as well as founder and chief executive of Nearby Technologies Pvt. Ltd, said, “As part of the Aadhaar Pay platform, we would like to be included in the ombudsman programme. Failures can be as high as 40%. The ombudsman scheme is essential as the core banking infrastructure hasn’t evolved to take the load of low value but high volume of digital transactions.” Bajaj’s Nearby Technologies enables retail stores to provide financial services.
Two years after the government rendered high-value currency notes illegal, demonetisation has boosted digital transactions.
As for the month of September 2018, the number of mobile transactions stood at 486.53 million while the number of National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) transactions was 181 million, according to data shared by RBI.
The circular issued by the central bank also limits customer liability for fraudulent transactions and includes PPIs such as digital wallets. The guidelines will be shared by RBI this month itself, said the circular. Previously, RBI mandated that the customer cannot be made liable if he/she informed the bank of the unauthorised transactions within three days of their occurrence.
Vishwas Patel, chairman of digital payments industry body, Payments Council of India, said in a statement, “An RBI-monitored system to handle customer complaints that are not addressed by the payment service provider will go a long way in boosting consumer confidence in digital financial transactions. All the members of Payments Council of India welcome RBI’s steps in creating this mechanism.”