RBI’s Cross-Country Payments With UPI- A Detailed Look At The Central Bank’s Future For International Remittance

India was the top recipient of remittances in the world in 2021, receiving over USD 87 billion. This represented a 4.6% increase above its remittance inflows from prior years. This is because remittances only represented 3.1% of the nation’s GDP in 2020.

Cross-country remittances are growing, and the Reserve Bank Of India(RBI) acknowledges this as they are deciding to act on it. Their initial plan is to add newer options to the 6-year-old Universal Payments Interface(UPI) that includes international payments. Prima facie is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Yet we must look closely to see how it will impact the sector.

What Is RBI’s Initiative?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stated in its annual report for FY21 that it is working on using UPI for cross-country transfers among jurisdictions.

RBI has looked into the idea of connecting UPI with comparable systems in other jurisdictions, particularly in the G20 countries, to improve cross-country and international payment arrangements. In addition, the apex bank claims to participate in the discussions over the fundamentals and roadmap of UPI and cross-country remittance with the Committee on Payments & Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and Financial Stability Board (FSB).

What Are Cross-Country Remittances?

For the uninitiated, cross-country remittances are transactions between individuals, companies, or banks in at least two countries. At the moment, cross-country and international payments are settled through a bank with branches in both nations. The bank converts money to local currency and charges users a commission of up to 10%. As a result, the procedure is time- and money-consuming.

What Is The Future Of Cross-Country Remittances In India?

The cornerstone of the cross-country payments ecosystem in India is likely to be laid by a similar agreement between PayNow, based in Singapore, and UPI’s governing organization, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The integration of UPI with PayNow has been formally announced, even though the efforts with different nations are at varying levels. According to the RBI, it should start operating in the second half of 2022.

The interlinking lowers the cost of cross-country remittances and will further anchor commerce, travel, and remittance flows between the two nations. It might also be used as an illustration of how different fast payment systems can be linked to sending money quickly and cheaply.

Essentially,

  • NPCI, an RBI initiative, has collaborated with several foreign organizations to share the UPI infrastructure but prevents cross-country payments.
  • The cross-country payments ecosystem in India is likely to be built around PayNow, a Singapore-based company, which is the sole partner of UPI.
  • According to the RBI, efforts are in various phases with different countries, but cross-country remittance via PayNow will start after July 2022.

UPI For Cross-Country Remittances

One of India’s payment settlement infrastructures with the quickest growth is UPI. The interface enables peer-to-peer payments across banks and platforms with a single pin. UPI recorded transactions of INR 10.4 Lakh Cr. in May 2022 alone because of its scalability and simplicity of usage.

As a result, numerous nations took note of the stack and made plans to implement the UPI functioning model in their countries. For this, NPCI’s international division, NIPL, has agreements with several banks in nations like the UAE, the US, Nepal, China, Japan, and several regions of Africa. However, so far, these partnerships have been signed to share the infrastructure and not enable cross-country payments.

For instance, in August 2021, NIPL announced its partnership with UAE-based Mashreq Bank to benefit 2 Mn+ Indians who travel to UAE for business or leisure every year.

In July 2021, NPCI partnered with the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) of Bhutan to initiate UPI-based payments in Bhutan and benefit an estimated 200,000 tourists from India who travel to the mountain nation annually.

Other successful international partnerships in this space include Discover Financial Services (DFS) USA, Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) Japan, Union Pay International (UPI) China, PPRO Financial, UK, and Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS), Singapore, and Liquid Group, Singapore.

Bottomline

Once RBI implements this aspect of UPI, transactions will boom, and fintech enterprises need to be ready. A simple digital adaptation to accommodate the transforming technology won’t cut it. All processes will have to qualify for international standards, and better security measures must be implemented. All this needs to be done without compromising the experience of the customer.

If you seek to improve your processes and be ready for the looming change, we at Signzy might be able to help out. Our No-code AI-driven resources that are fully customizable are built for your needs. Check it out here.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering customizable workflows. In addition, it gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru and has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com.

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

Mahesh is a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. He ensures to deliver well-researched and precise information to the reader without squandering their time or tag. He is well versed in financial technology and digital marketing with a passion for stories of all forms.

Who Regulates the NBFCs?- Supreme Court Settles The States’ Money Lending Laws Disparity With RBI

 

Last week, the Supreme Court held that Non­-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) regulated by the Reserve Bank of India could not be regulated by individual state enactments.

A bench of Justices Ramasubramanian V and Hemant Gupta said NBFCs play a vital role in contributing to the country’s financial health, whose operations are controlled by RBI. Therefore, it said that the Reserve Bank of India has no say in such a relevant matter of vital interest. It would strike at the fundamentals of the statutory control vested in the Reserve Bank of India.

“It may be true that many times RBI may not be controlling the rate of interest charged by NBFCs on the loans advanced by them. It does not mean that they have no power to step in,” the bench said.

The Supreme Court examined whether Non-Banking Financial Companies regulated by the Reserve Bank of India could also be regulated by specific State enactments such as the Kerala Money Lenders Act, 1958 and the Gujarat Money Lenders Act, 2011.

The fact that the Chapter III­B of the RBI Act assigns a supervisory role for the Reserve Bank of India to oversee and regulate the NBFCs’ functioning, including all their activities, automatically comes under the scanner of the RBI. This applies to the NBFCs from their inception (registration) till the time of their commercial denouement (winding up/cancellation).

“As a consequence, the single aspect of taking care of the interest of the borrowers which is sought to be achieved by the State enactments gets subsumed in the provisions of Chapter III­B,” the bench said.

The Supreme court also said it believed that the Kerala Act and the Gujarat Act would not apply to all NBFCs registered under the RBI Act, which the RBI regulates.

Therefore, the bench stated that all the appeals the NBFCs filed against the Kerala High Court’s judgment are standing and allowed. Similarly, the appeals the State of Gujarat filed against the judgment of the Gujarat High Court are wholly dismissed.

What It Means

The statement by the Supreme Court comes as a massive breath of fresh air for NBFC in particular and the fintech industry as a whole. None of the RBI-regulated financial companies need to get tangled in multiple jurisdictions and unnecessary compliance complications. Contradictions between jurisprudence are also apparent and transparent.

Even then, financial companies still need to follow many regulatory compliances. For this, they need reliable fintech service providers to ensure good service. Signzy can get you the apt products and services you seek. With our customizable AI-driven API resources for KYC, Onboarding, etc., which are absolutely regulations compliant, you can make all your financial technology processes optimized to the best degree.

 

Key Takeaways

  • The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) will unequivocally regulate Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), and state money-lending laws will have no applicability to them.
  • The verdict was that the Kerala Act and the Gujarat Act would have no application to the NBFCs registered under the RBI Act and regulated by the RBI.
  • No NBFC can begin or carry on business without obtaining a registration certificate under the RBI Act; their continuation in business would depend upon compliance with the RBI Act and circulars/directions issued by the RBI.
  • This is impactful news for NBFCs as this will help maneuver unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles.
  • It creates a strict differentiation between local money lenders and Non-Banking Financial Companies.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

Mahesh is a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. He believes Finance is the matrix of functionality, and Technology is evolution. Amalgamate the two, and you get the most dynamic beast in modern civilization- Fintech. He explores this sphere with keen eyes on the terraforming ecosystem. He tries to balance his professional enthusiasm with his passion-driven love for history, mythology, and stories of all forms.

RRA Refocus On Circulars- What The RRA’s recommendation To RBI Was And What It Means For The Fintech Industry

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) stated the Regulations Review Authority(RRA 2.0) had recommended withdrawing an additional 225 redundant circulars on the RBI website. The Reserve Bank had set up the RRA 2.0(Regulations Review Authority) to reduce the burden of compliance on REs(regulated entities).

“RRA 2.0(Regulations Review Authority 2.0) has recommended withdrawal of an additional 225 circulars in the third tranche of recommendations,” the Reserve Bank Of India said in a statement last week.

The RBI is separately issuing the notifications, including the list of specific instructions recommended for withdrawal.

Once the Reserve Bank Of India does remove these redundant circulars, it will be a welcoming step for optimizing the regulatory compliance associated with the sector. Moreover, it will significantly help the banking and fintech industries as financial technology is constantly impeded by regulatory bureaucracy.

In the second tranche, the Regulations Review Authority 2.0 had also recommended merger/ discontinuation/ conversion to online submission of 65 returns. In addition, they also emphasized creating a new ‘Regulatory Reporting’ link on the central bank’s official website to consolidate all the information relating to any regulatory reporting.

History of RRA 2.0

The Reserve Bank of India established the Regulations Review Authority 2.0 to review all the regulatory instructions, reduce the burden of compliance on Regulated Entities (REs), and remove redundant and duplicate instructions.

Regulations Review Authority 2.0 focuses on properly streamlining regulatory instructions, reducing requirements for reporting wherever possible, and reducing the burden of compliance of the regulated entities(REs) by simplifying procedures and processes.

The Reserve Bank of India had established an RRA initially for only a year from April 1, 1999, for mostly reviewing the regulations, reporting systems, and circulars based on the genuine feedback from the banks, the public, and other financial institutions(FIs).

The recommendations of the Regulations Review Authority enabled streamlining and incrementing the effectiveness of various procedures and simplified regulatory prescriptions. It paved the way for issuing master circulars and reduced reporting burden on regulated entities; the RBI had said in April last year while announcing the setting up of RRA 2.0.

What this means for financial technology

The talk needs to be walked from the RBI website to the financial companies and regulated entities in the form of new rules. Once the redundant circulars are effectively withdrawn, it will be a comforting move for regulatory compliance in all sectors. This is particularly true in fintech. As the fintech industry is closely knit with advancing technology, outdated regulations constantly impede the excellent implementation of solutions.

Although RBI and other regulating entities are striving to walk the fine line of easing the processes for regulated entities while affirming the safety and security of the customers, it remains difficult to follow the proper regulatory compliance. This is especially true in cases of compliance involving digitization and automation. 

If you are concerned about how to handle this, you need not seek further. Signzy provides the-state-of-the-art API resources that are No-Code AI-driven and offer customizable options for all your needs. Check out our products here.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

Mahesh is a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. He believes Finance is the matrix of functionality, and Technology is evolution. Amalgamate the two, and you get the most dynamic beast in modern civilization- Fintech. He explores this sphere with keen eyes on the terraforming ecosystem. He tries to balance his professional enthusiasm with his passion-driven love for history, mythology, and stories of all forms.

Know Everything About The RBI’s New Rules Revamp For Credit And Debit Cards

With over 5,90,000 ATM transactions and close to 211 million POS(point-of-sale) credit card transactions, December 2021 was an intriguing month for the financial industry. These numbers keep on increasing, and the government is taking measures to ensure that card issuers do right by the customers.

The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) provided new rules for the Issue of credit and debit cards and apt directions to issuing agencies. The new rules will be implemented from July 1, 2022. 

These directions encompass the conduct regulations relating to credit, debit, and co-branded cards and their payments. They apply to every bank in India.

The official RBI website prescribes the new rules as master directions. These are meant to provide just treatment for debit and credit services customers. The RBI website also hints at further reforms in the coming months.

General guidelines for card issuance

  • If a card is blocked at the customer’s request, a replacement card can only be issued with the customer’s explicit consent. Further, the card issuer must obtain the explicit consent of the cardholder before the renewal of an existing card.
  • The T&C for issuing and usage of a card will be mentioned in simple language with clarity. This will preferably be in Hindi, English, and regional languages.
  • If any convenience fee is charged on specific transactions, it shall be transparently indicated to the cardholder before the transaction.
  • The terms shall specify the time for a reversal of failed transactions and the compensation payable for failure to meet the specified timeline.
  • The card issuer may alter terms, but they must provide a 30 days notice of the change to the cardholder to enable the customer to withdraw if they choose. 

Guidelines for debit cards

  • Debit cards shall only be issued to savings bank or current accounts customers.
  • Banks will not force a customer to avail of a debit card facility and shall not link issuance of a card to opt for any additional facility from the bank.

Guidelines for credit cards

  • Unsolicited upgrading or the Issue of unsolicited cards is strictly prohibited. Suppose an unsolicited card is issued, or an existing card is upgraded and activated without the customer’s explicit consent (a bill is generated). In that case, the card-issuer shall reverse charges and pay the penalty amounting twice the value of reversed charges.
  • The card-issuer is wholly held responsible if there is a misuse of such unsolicited cards (before reaching those whose names it was issued).
  • Consent must be explicit for the Issue of cards- i.e., written consent is required before a credit card issuance. If written permission is difficult to obtain, digital means can be used but must be communicated to the RBI.
  • Card issuers and third-party agents have been told not to resort to intimidation or harassment during the recovery of dues.

Guidelines for loss of cards

  • Card-issuer will block a lost card immediately after being informed.
  • Card issuers shall provide detailed information on reporting loss, theft, or unauthorized use of a card or even the PIN. This must include channels such as a dedicated number for SMS, a dedicated helpline, a dedicated e-mail-id, a visible hyperlink on the website, internet banking and mobile app, etc.
  • Card issuers shall immediately send a confirmation after blocking the card.

Grievances and Complaints

  • Card issuers shall implement mechanisms and provide publicity. They should mention the name, email-id, contact number, and the designated officer’s postal address on the account statements and credit card bills.
  • The designated officer ensures that the grievances of cardholders are redressed promptly without delay.
  • Card issuers must ensure call center staff is trained to manage and escalate complaints. There should be an effective system of acknowledging customers’ complaints about apt follow-ups, including complaint numbers, even if complaints are received over the phone.
  • Card issuers will be liable to compensate the complainant for loss of time, expenses, financial loss, and the harassment suffered for the mistakes of the card issuer if they did not redress the grievance in time. If a complainant receives no satisfactory response from the card issuer within a span of one month from the date of the lodged complaint, they can approach the RBI to redress grievances.

Confidential customer information

  • Card issuers will not reveal information regarding the customers without obtaining their consent. They must tell customers the purpose of the information and the organizations they will share the information with.
  • Information sought from customers cannot violate law provisions relating to maintaining secrecy in transactions. The card issuers will be responsible for the accuracy or otherwise of the data provided.

Conclusion

This master direction for credit and debit cards is an excellent effort from the government’s side to provide customer convenience and ensure just treatment. This will boost credit and debit card usage in the coming years. Notwithstanding this, it is a burden on many financial institutions. The entire onboarding structure will need scrutiny and revamp. They require reliable, safe, and user-friendly fintech services. With a no-code AI-driven platform and multiple customizable API resources, Signzy can undoubtedly provide you with the solutions you seek.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

Mahesh is a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. He believes Finance is the matrix of functionality, and Technology is evolution. Amalgamate the two, and you get the most dynamic beast in modern civilization- Fintech. He explores this sphere with keen eyes on the terraforming ecosystem. He tries to balance his professional enthusiasm with his passion-driven love for history, mythology, and stories of all forms.

Optimal Regulations- How Good Fintech Regulations Form The Financial Gateway To Digitizing The Economy

 

How welcoming are the Indian districts to financial inclusion and progress? A decade ago, it wasn’t much. 2013 saw the CRISIL (formerly Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited) introduce Inclusix into the foray. Inclusix was the country’s first financial inclusion index- a method to measure the level of financial inclusion and progress in the nation. The project spanned over 660 districts in the country.

In 2022, over 330 of the 666 districts in the country have a rating of ‘Above Average’ on the Inclusix. This is an encouraging result for the economy. But while growth is evident, so will the trouble that comes with it. With increasing individuals accessing financial opportunities, the government must take advanced and more efficient regulatory measures.

How It Has Been For Fintechs

A brief history of Fintech exhibits its inception in the banking industry. Notwithstanding, the past half a decade has seen tremendous advancements in the entire financial company ecosystem. FinTech has expanded to asset management and insurance companies too.

Digital adoption is not easy in a massive yet less digital economy like India. Innovation and change have never been the cash-centered mindset, and lack of reliability on technology in the past has made it difficult. Nonetheless, the entire country is shifting towards adopting Financial technology services. This includes both the businesses and the consumers.

Thus, the environment is nourishing and is shifting to a higher gear. New business propositions, better maneuvering, and solutions lead to a faster-paced economy.

Regulations In Position

Even with the current strict regulations, many sectors in the Fintech Industry are not adequately regulated. The problem is not a lack of regulation but the unequal and inefficient distribution of regulatory guidelines across the whole industry. Some are excessive, while others are insufficient.

P2P lending and digital payment modes are good examples of irregular regulatory implementations. They require monitoring and oversight regulation as they manage money at large, derived from the public. Two of the relevant regulatory actions in place include:

  • P2P is popular amongst enthusiastic investors and financial companies as they are efficient, high on returns, and has relatively lower interest rates than other financial companies, institutions and banks. The RBI’s decision to treat such P2P entities as NBFCs with newer regulatory guidelines will only cement their relevance in the economy and legality. Such a move by the RBI will ensure better credibility and decision-making capacity for P2P platforms. It will help make the initiatives more robust and, more importantly, sustainable in the future.
  • The RBI is also regulating Fintechs focused on payment gateways and e-wallets. Under the Payment and Settlements Act 2007, these entities must be registered with the RBI. The Act describes stringent rules and regulations for the same. 

Barring the above mentioned, there are not many stringent regulations in any Fintech industry sector. This is an excellent opportunity for regulators and businesses to think of creative approaches towards it. Historically, the regulators have not perceived Financial technology companies in a different limelight. They categorize them in the same elements as traditional businesses. This is a mistake.

What To Change

Considering Fintechs as traditional businesses needs to change. And it did.

In 2017, one of RBI’s Working Groups recommended setting up an optimized sandbox in the country. This sandbox would allow Fintech Startups to examine and test new services while assessing risks before their introduction into the market. But even this needs modifications and improved efficiency. There are still a lot of bureaucratic muddles.

Many entities are involved in governing the Indian Fintech industry. This includes RBI, TRAI, SEBI, and even the IRDA. Hence, there is no single authoritative body to oversee the industry as a whole. There are no specific generalized guidelines for the Fintech sphere. An overseer regulator will help make matters easier.

Moreover, each state government is taking different modes to approach the industry. They have their own opinions and startup ecosystems. As a result, regulations overlap and cause confusion and gray areas for the Fintech community. Therefore, an understanding between governments must be strung.

On top of all this, the FIntech sphere is a dynamic juggernaut. It has new technology and outright disruptive approaches with innovative products. These call for the constant renovation of regulatory guidelines to ensure a smooth and easy transition. The regulators have myriads of ideas and areas to consider each time they decide. Apt solutions for this must be brought. Consider the input prominent fintech players can provide and keep clear communication between the entities and the regulators to ensure no misunderstandings.

Where All Of This Leads You

Considering consumers as the primary benefactors of better regulatory practices, the government is taking measures. Data localization norms and the flexibility and interpretation of regulation will help enforce the aspiring optimization. The RBI also currently has regulatory guidelines to make payments more transparent and secure in draft form.

While the government and competitors are transforming their approach to fintech solutions, you also have to opt for the best services available to ensure your enterprise thrives. We at Signzy can help you. Our state-of-the-art, customizable, AI-enabled resources can help you boost your onboarding and KYC processes. Let us know how you plan on innovating your enterprise.

About Signzy

Signzy is a market-leading platform that is redefining the speed, accuracy, and experience of how financial institutions are onboarding customers and businesses – using the digital medium. The company’s award-winning no-code GO platform delivers seamless, end-to-end, and multi-channel onboarding journeys while offering totally customizable workflows. It gives these players access to an aggregated marketplace of 240+ bespoke APIs that can be easily added to any workflow with simple widgets.

Signzy is enabling ten million+ end customer and business onboarding every month at a success rate of 99% while reducing the speed to market from 6 months to 3-4 weeks. It works with over 240+ FIs globally, including the 4 largest banks in India, a Top 3 acquiring Bank in the US, and has a robust global partnership with Mastercard and Microsoft. The company’s product team is based out of Bengaluru, and it has a strong presence in Mumbai, New York, and Dubai.

Visit www.signzy.com for more information about us.

You can reach out to our team at reachout@signzy.com

Written By:

Mahesh Mohan

I am a Creative Writer intent on learning and sharing knowledge. I believe Finance is the agar matrix of functionality, and technology is evolution. Amalgamate the two, and you get the most dynamic beast in modern civilization- Fintech. I explore this sphere with keen eyes on the terraforming ecosystem. I try to balance my professional enthusiasm with my passion-driven love for history, mythology, and stories of all forms.

 

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