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RBI issues draft guidelines on payment aggregators

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The payments ecosystem in India includes online PAs and PAs, which facilitate face-to-face/proximity payment transactions

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank on Tuesday came out with draft guidelines to further strengthen regulations on payment aggregators, a move aimed at boosting the payment ecosystem.

The draft also covers the physical point-of-sale activities of payment aggregators (PAs).

The RBI said that given the growth in digital transactions and the significant role that PAs play in this space, the current directions on PAs are proposed to be updated and cover, inter alia, KYC and due diligence of merchants, operations in Escrow accounts, and intended to strengthen the payment ecosystem.

The payments ecosystem in India includes online PAs and PAs, which facilitate face-to-face/proximity payment transactions.

On KYC and due diligence, the draft said the payment aggregators should undertake due diligence of merchants onboarded by them by Customer Due Diligence (CDD) prescribed in Master Directions on Know Your Customer (MD-KYC), 2016.

“PAs shall ensure that marketplaces onboarded by them do not collect and settle funds for services not offered through their platform,” said the draft on which the RBI has invited comments by May 31, 2024.

For face-to-face/proximity payment transactions done using cards, from August 1, 2025, the draft said no entity in the card transaction/payment chain, other than the card issuers and/or card networks, shall store the Card-on-File (CoF) data.

“Any such data stored previously shall be purged,” the draft added.

The draft further said non-banks providing PA-P services should have a minimum net worth of Rs 15 crore at the time of submitting an application to the RBI for authorization and a minimum net worth of Rs 25 crore by March 31, 2028.

The net worth of Rs 25 crore shall be maintained at all times thereafter.

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