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RBI issues Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) - (27 Aug 2021)


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issues Master Directions on PPIs in public interest. The provisions of MD-PPIs shall apply to all Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) Issuers and System Participants. Master directions provide a framework for authorisation, regulation and supervision of entities issuing and operating PPIs in the country. Further, it would foster competition and encourage innovation and provide harmonisation and interoperability of PPIs.

Banks and non-bank entities issue PPIs in the country after obtaining necessary approval / authorisation from RBI under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act). In view of the developments in the field and the progress made by PPI issuer, the existing instructions issued on the subject till date have been incorporated and are consolidated in the Master Directions (MD). The MD lays down the eligibility criteria and the conditions of use for Payment System Operators (PSOs) involved in the issuance and operation of PPIs in the country. No entity can set up and operate payment systems for PPIs without prior approval / authorisation of RBI.

Interoperability shall be mandatory on the acceptance side as well. QR codes in all modes shall be interoperable by March 31, 2022. PPI issuer shall put in place a formal, publicly disclosed customer grievance redressal framework, including designating a nodal officer to handle the customer complaints / grievances, the escalation matrix and turn-around-times for complaint resolution. The complaint facility, if made available on website / mobile, shall be clear and easily accessible. In case of PPIs issued by banks and non-banks, customers shall have recourse to the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions respectively for grievance redressal.


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