New Delhi On Thursday, the Reserve Bank on a pilot basis, allowed to pay small amount through ‘offline’ card or mobile without internet. Under this, payment up to Rs 200 will be allowed at a time. This was announced by Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das. The objective of this initiative is to encourage customers to do digital transactions even in places where there is less connectivity to the Internet. According to the notification issued in this context, ‘Payment System Operators’ (PSOs) … banks and non-banks … can offer offline digital payments under the pilot scheme.
That is, internet connection will not be required for payment in this way. According to the central bank notification, payments under the pilot scheme can be made through card, wallet or mobile devices or any other means. No other type of verification will be required for this. The maximum limit for single payment will be Rs 200. However, through this there will be a limit of total payment up to Rs 2,000 at any given time.
The threshold can be rescheduled with additional verification in an ‘online’ way. The pilot scheme will run till 31 March 2021. Based on the experience gained from the pilot scheme, the RBI will decide on setting up a formal system in this context. According to RBI, “PSO will provide information on actual basis about transaction amount to users as soon as the deal is done”.
The central bank also said that the ‘Payment System Operator’ (PSO) would have to implement online dispute resolution (ODR). Disputes and complaints have also increased as digital transactions have increased. The governor said, “The central bank has been encouraging units to develop offline payment solutions”. Therefore, it is proposed to allow payment of small amount with built-in facilities through ‘offline’ keeping in view the interests of users, liability protection etc. under the pilot scheme.
RBI said that lack of internet or its low speed is a major obstacle in the path of digital payment, especially in remote areas. In view of this, the option of offline payment through cards, wallets and mobile devices is being made available which is expected to give a further boost to digital payments.