The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will be amending regulations to enable the market participants to make regulatory payments to it through digital modes such as NEFT and RTGS, according to this notification. SEBI defines market participants as intermediaries, entities, investors, listed companies and companies which intend to get their securities listed.
A PTI report points out that SEBI has already introduced an RTGS option for payment of penalties, disgorgement amounts, settlements amounts, legal charges and recovery amounts. However, certain receipts such as filing fees for IPOs, takeover fees, payment from mutual funds are still received through cheques and demand drafts. Options of online payment from market intermediaries is not available in the respective regulations.
Note that SEBI had cleared the NEFT and RTGS to the existing list of methods that companies use to pay dividend or other cash benefits to shareholders and investors back in 2013. Previously, companies used to electronic clearing system (ECS) to transfer dividend and other cash benefits to their shareholders and investors.
The government has been pushing for the adoption of digital modes of payments following the demonetization Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
For example, the Finance Department of the Delhi government has issued an office asking all that payments to contractors, suppliers and institutions through RTGS, NEFT and ECS, as indicated by this DNA report.
To boost usage of debit and credit cards for small value transactions, the government waived off service tax for transactions up to Rs 2,000. Note that this exemption applies only to the MDR (a bank interchange fee) which banks levy on merchants and not on the whole Rs 2,000.
During December 2016, average NEFT transactions per day grew 16.4% . Average transactions per day were 4.77 million, up from 4.1 million per day in November 2016. Amount transferred grew even less, up 8.7% to Rs 319 crore per day, from Rs 293 crore per day.