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RBI issues guidelines to facilitate money transfer through pre-paid instruments (PPI) - (16 Oct 2018)


RBI has issued consolidated guidelines aiming to facilitate payments among prepaid instruments (PPI) such as mobile wallets. As per the road-map laid down in the year 2017, interoperability of all KYC-compliant PPIs was to be enabled in three phases - (i) interoperability of PPIs issued in the form of wallets through Unified Payments Interface (UPI), (ii) interoperability between wallets and bank accounts through UPI, and (iii) interoperability for PPIs issued in the form of cards through card networks. Guidelines would pave the way for better implementation of interoperability and promote digital transaction.

Interoperability is the technical compatibility that enables a payment system to be used in conjunction with other payment systems. Interoperability allows PPI Issuers, System Providers and System Participants in different systems to undertake, clear and settle payment transactions across systems without participating in multiple systems. Well known mobile wallets operating in the country are MobiKwik, Oxigen, Paytm, and Ola.

As per the guidelines, in a case, where PPIs are issued in the form of wallets, interoperability across PPIs shall be enabled through UPI. Further, when PPIs are issued in the form of cards, the cards shall be affiliated to the authorised card networks. All PPI issuers intending to implement interoperability through UPI and / or card networks shall adhere to the instructions contained in the guidelines. PPI issuers operating exclusively in specific segments like Meal, Gift and MTS may also implement interoperability. The interoperability shall be facilitated to all KYC compliant PPI accounts and entire acceptance infrastructure.

PPI issuers have to adhere to all the requirements of card networks / UPI including membership type and criteria, merchant on-boarding, adherence to various standards, rules and regulations applicable to the specific payment system such as technical requirements, certifications and audit requirements, governance, etc. Authentication will be completed by the PPI holder as per his / her existing wallet credentials. A transaction will be pre-approved before it reaches the UPI.


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