Mobile wallets have brought a new revolution to India, be it Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay or Mobikwik; all of them have been key in reducing the dependency on physical cash, reducing the need to carry a lot of cash.
It seems that the ability to transfer cash to one's digital wallet is about to become much easier after an announcement from the RBI. As per the Reserve Bank of India or RBI, all mobile wallets, be it Google's offering or Paytm, will have to allow interoperability starting FY23 or April 1, 2022.
This announcement came in an order from the RBI, which aims to simplify digital banking in India, which has become much better over the course of the last couple of years, but it is still out of reach of the overall population.
The new rule is applicable to all licensed prepaid payment instruments or PPIs in the country starting April 2022, with the decision having been taken after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in April of 2021.
What Is Interoperability
When it comes to digital wallets, interoperability refers to the ability to let valid users who possess verified KYCs to send and receive money from different mobile wallets. What this basically means is that you will now be able to send your money from your Paytm wallet to your Mobikwik wallet or vice versa.
As per the RBI, digital wallets can facilitate this interoperability via UPI or Unified Payments Interface. It also added that card-based PPIs could attain interoperability via card network interoperability. The only exception is PPI for Mass Transmit Systems (PPI-MTS), with RBI stating that GIFT PPI issuers have the option to offer interoperability if they wish.
A statement from the circular released by RBI states that any PPI issuer offering this specific facility shall be required to put in place proper customer redressal mechanisms. Complaints in relation to this shall fall under the ambit of the respective ombudsman schemes as well as for instructions on limiting the liability of customers.
Furthermore, RBI has also stated that customers will be able to use their mobile wallets to withdraw, limited to Rs 2,000. Wallet limits have also been expanded from Rs 1 lakh to 2 lakh. It also noted that PPI users should be required to put in place suitable cooling periods for cash withdrawal upon opening PPIs or re-loading of funds into PPIs to mitigate the risk of fraudulent use.