The RBI has decided to put mobile payment services linked to banks on hold until the final guidelines are issued. Many of these services have been active for a year now, banks and service operators have spent a lot of money publicising these, and consumer have signed up. With consumers, third-party rights come into play, and the note to put the services on hold does seem odd. On July 22nd, the RBI issued a notice, saying that:
“There are a number of attendant issues and therefore, banks are advised to keep on hold their mobile payment services till issuance of the final Guidelines. Banks may also dissociate themselves from any mobile based money transfer service which has not received explicit approval of RBI or not covered by any of the Guidelines issued by RBI.”
It’s important to note that only payment systems are being put on hold. Information services like mobile alerts for credit or debit entry, balance enquiry will continue.
The guidelines are expected to be out shortly, though there’s no official notification on exactly when. After the Draft Guidelines were put up, comments have been received from stakeholders, and the RBI is expected to issue the final guidelines based on these. Note that the guidelines will cover only those payment services linked to banks, and not cash cards.