The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed various authorised payment systems to put in place appropriate customer grievance redressal mechanism. The authorised payment system operators include pre-paid payment instruments, card schemes, cross-border in-bound money transfers, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) networks and centralised clearing arrangements.
In a statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies, issued on April 4, 2019, the RBI has stated that for some payment systems, they have issued guidelines prescribing compensation to be paid to customers for a delay in resolving failed transactions.
Banks, for example, are required to display the names and the contact numbers of concerned officers, toll free numbers, help desk numbers in the ATM premises. Such guidelines are proposed to be there for other payment system operators as well.
The RBI also observed that the time taken for resolving customer complaint varies across payment systems. In order to have prompt and efficient customer service in all the electronic payment systems, the regulator felt that it is necessary to harmonise the Turn Around Time (TAT) of resolution of customer complaints and charge-backs and to have a compensation framework in place for the benefit of customers.
The Reserve Bank proposes to put in place a framework on TAT for resolution of customer complaints and compensation framework across all authorised payment systems by the end of June 2019.
The Reserve Bank of India has introduced an Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019. It is an expeditious and cost-free apex level mechanism for resolution of complaints regarding digital transactions undertaken by customers of the System Participants. The Scheme was introduced under Section 18 Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, with effect from January 31, 2019.
One can file a complaint with the Ombudsman by writing on a plain paper and sending it to the concerned office of the Ombudsman by post/fax/hand delivery. One can also file it by email to the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions. One may lodge a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions within whose jurisdiction the branch or office of the System Participant complained against, is located.
The RBI will also be benchmarking the payment systems in India with that existing globally. Efficient payment systems reduce the cost of exchanging goods and services and are indispensable to the functioning of financial markets.
The past decade has witnessed several innovations in retail payments across the globe. Benchmarking India’s Payments Systems is necessary to gauge India’s progress against payment systems and instruments in major countries and give further impetus to the planned efforts for deepening the digitisation of payments. A report containing the findings of such an exercise will be placed on the RBI website by the end of May 2019.