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RBI’s ombudsman has disposed 44% digital payments related complaints since Jan 31

Since its inception on January 31, 2019, the RBI’s Ombudsman for Digital Transactions has disposed about 44% of all the complaints it received. Of the 1,254 complaints the ombudsman received between January 31 and October 31, it disposed 556. This information was received in an RTI response by Twitter user @logic.

The RTI response didn’t have a month-wise breakdown for number of complaints received and disposed for the period from January to June 2019. However, the total number of complains related to digital payments received and disposed during that period stands at 532 and 434, respectively. Here is a month-wise breakdown:

Month Number of complaints received Number of complaints disposed
January 31-June 30 532 434
July 170 47
August 151 44
September 227 27
October 174 4

There seems to have been a steep decline in the number of complaints the Ombudsman disposed in the months of September (about 12%) and October (about 2.3%). However, please note that since the RTI was filed on October 10, the data for the month of October might be incomplete.

RBI had launched the Ombudsman scheme on January 31, 2019 as a free and quick way to resolve complaints about digital transactions conducted through non-bank entities regulated by RBI. Complaints relating to digital transactions conducted through banks would continue to be handled by the banking ombudsman. At the time, RBI’s note also said:

  • The offices of the ombudsman for digital transactions will function from the existing 21 offices of the banking ombudsman.
  • Each office will handle customer complaints from its territorial jurisdiction.
  • The scheme will have an appellate mechanism, which provides the option to appeal the against the decision of the ombudsman.

Apart from the ombudsman, the RBI had also set up a committee on digital payments in January, which was headed by Nandan Nilekani. The committee came out with a report in June, which said that the government must target 10X growth in the volume of digital payments in the next three years.

RBI announced penalties for failed transactions on UPI, PPI, etc.

In September, RBI released a framework to address failed transactions on UPI, payments banks and wallets and compensate customers accordingly. For UPIs, if a user’s account is debited but the beneficiary’s account is not credited, the beneficiary bank will have to auto-reverse the money within 1 day. The compensation payable in this case is Rs 100 per day of delay after the first day. Also, if a customer’s account is debited but the UPI transaction confirmation is not received at the merchant’s end, there is a 5-day period for auto-reversal, beyond which, the customer will have to be compensated Rs 100 per day of delay.

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For Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), Rs 100 will have to be compensated to a user per day if an on-us transaction fails and auto-reversal doesn’t happen within 1 day.

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