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Meru Cabs: usage of foreign payment gateways violated RBI guidelines, FEMA rules

In a blog post, Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO of Meru Cabs, has said that the company would like to collaborate with others in the industry to figure out improving the payment experience without compromising safety norms of using cards online. “For example, RBI may come up with a guideline that no additional factor of authentication would be required for transactions below Rs. 2000 and up to a max of 3 transactions in a day,” Pahwa said in a blog post on the Meru Cabs blog. This follows an RBI notification which could force Uber to switch to an Indian payment gateway, and adopt a two factor authentication (2FA) process for making payments via its app. For Indian retailers, customers are taken to an external payment gateway, where they have to input a password which is not present on the card, to authenticate a “Card Not Present” transaction.

Read: Meru Cabs asks RBI to extend recurring payment rules to foreign players like Uber

“Parity is paramount,” Pahwa writes, pointing out that others in the e-commerce space also “face such regulatory mismatches, which affects their business,” and that Meru had sought “parity for the whole e-commerce retail industry.” He alleges that “International operators circumvented this 2FA even though RBI had made it amply clear that by merely having a payment gateway abroad does not allow anyone to do away with additional factor of authentication” and “they not only violated the RBI’s guidelines on 2FA but also violated the FEMA rules.”

He adds that Meru was ready to launch a similar mobile app without the two-factor-authentication a long time ago, but decided against it. “So this is not about technology – It is simply about following the laws of the land.”

Read the entire post here.

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Also read: Uber may still be able to use a foreign payment gateway in India – Arkay & Arkay

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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