People in India will soon be able to transfer money from one digital wallet to other. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued final guidelines to operationalize the interoperability of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI) such as mobile wallets, meal and gift cards. Players like Paytm, Mobikwik, PhonePe, and others are going to benefit from this RBI move. RBI conveyed that PPI issuer companies serving in specific segments like Meal, Gift, and MTS will also be able to participate in the payment ecosystem through interoperability.
It is a great leap ahead towards digital payments as this makes wallets equal to banks and users will do even small value transactions in a digital way. Wallet users will be able to make payments wherever the cards are accepted and they can also make payments on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart or anywhere else using any wallet.
All PPI issuers will operate as per the requirements of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), and as guided by the technical specifications or standards and requirements for achieving interoperability through UPI and card networks. Where PPIs are issued in the form of wallets or cards interoperability across PPIs shall be enabled through UPI and authorized card networks respectively. The inter-operability would be achieved in a phased manner – inter-operability of PPIs issued in the form of wallets through UPI will be the first phase. This will be followed by transfer between wallets and bank accounts through UPI. Finally, interoperability for PPIs issued in the form of cards through card networks will become.
Wallets need to maintain KYC complaint accounts and then only the interoperability will be allowed. The mobile wallet firms can now collaborate with the UPI network to issue payment addresses or can issue cards directly by collaborating with card networks like Mastercard, Visa, and Rupay. Supporting the digital revolution in India, RBI is allowing even tiny players to take part in the PPI segment. It has not imposed any minimum net worth requirement on them for interoperability. This will see an emergence of many aspiring companies to start mobile wallets and serve the larger population which still remains unbanked. Now UPI would be accessible to large masses through a digital network of UPI enabled payment apps. Govt. of India has taken another step towards developing a strong payment ecosystem in India.