New player entry in retail payments may get easier

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday proposed to relax norms for entry of new players in retail payment systems with a view to give a boost to innovation and competition. At the end of 2018, there were 89 authorised non-bank Payment System Operators. The RBI’s policy paper on ‘Authorisation of New Retail Payment Systems’ proposes a multi-pronged policy action for a more appropriate level of retail payment systems and operators. With regard to entry point norms for entities, the paper said a judicious approach needs to be adopted with regard to networth criteria. “For all payment systems it would be desirable that they have physical presence in the country, impeccable track record and are likely to conform to the best overall standards, including those pertaining to customer service and efficiency,” the paper said. It also makes a case for alignment of regulatory framework to encourage enhanced participation of both bank and non-bank entities. The RBI had earlier said that the aim was to minimise concentration risk in the retail payments market from a financial stability perspective. The central bank has invited comments on the policy paper by February 20.

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