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Visa proposes common protocol for offline payments

We missed this earlier.  A technical policy paper authored by researchers at global card network Visa Inc. has proposed a common protocol that can be used by regulators, payments companies and banks to track and validate offline retail payments. The paper was submitted on December 14, 2020. While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not iterated a policy stance on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and crypto currencies, it has been pushing the payments industry and banks to work on offline digital payments solutions, particularly for consumers and merchants in areas with poor internet connectivity. In August this year, the RBI issued guidelines to payment system operators allowing them to launch pilot programs for small value offline payments. In November last year, the RBI authorised two companies under its Regulatory Sandbox to begin testing their offline payments solutions on a limited scale. In December, the central bank allowed four more entities under the sandbox to begin testing their offline retail payments solutions. Further, the the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) last month launched an offline contactless payments feature for RuPay cardholders. "Digital payments traditionally rely on online communications with several intermediaries such as banks, payment networks, and payment processors in order to authorize and process payment trans-actions. While these communication networks are designed to be highly available with continuous uptime, there may be times when an end-user experiences little or no access to network connectivity," the paper authored by researchers at Visa says. The paper recommends a two-tier…

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