RBI Considers Extending KYC Deadline Of Mobile Wallets

Story image for Mobile from Inc42 MediaIn the second week of October, the RBI introduced stricter norms for PPIs, as per which users of mobile wallets had until the end of this year to convert to the full KYC format. In a new development, the country’s central banking institution is currently “looking into” requests for an extension of the deadline.

In the interim period, the RBI reportedly received multiple requests from mobile wallet companies to extend the deadline.

A representative of the RBI said, “Some PPI (prepaid payment instruments) issuers are in the process of meeting the deadline. Requests had been received from few PPI issuers regarding the extension of time. We are seized of the matter and are looking into it.”

As per the new guidelines, mobile wallets, which have been conforming to a minimum KYC format (such as simple verification of mobile number) will have to convert to full KYC wallet within 12 months of opening it. All existing wallet users have to convert to the full KYC format by this year end.

Full KYC means that the companies are required to collect “self-declaration of name and unique identification number of any of the officially valid documents.” To that end, most of the prepaid payment instruments operating in India are now asking users to link the wallets with their respective Aadhaar numbers.

Commenting on the development, a source requesting anonymity said, “There have been multiple discussions between stakeholders in the payments industry and the regulator and we have presented to them the operational difficulties faced by us, we think that the RBI would give us more time to implement the KYC norms.”

An Overview Of The Newly Instituted Norms For PPIs

Meanwhile, full KYC wallets have a limit of $1,531(INR 1 lakh) and all facilities for fund transfer will be allowed. Also, reportedly, PPIs cannot be loaded with more than $765( INR 50K) per month, while interoperability will be enabled between mobile wallets and banks in a phased manner through UPI in the coming months.

PPIs that can be issued as cards, wallets or any such form can be loaded or reloaded by cash, by debit to a bank account, by credit or by debit card among others. PPIs cannot be issued in the paper form except for meal vouchers and these vouchers will have to be replaced in electronic format after December 31, 2017. The limit of semi-closed PPIs has been revised from $306 (INR 20K) to $153 (INR 10K) per month.

What Happened In The Aftermath Of RBI’s Notification?

Immediately after the norms were instituted, multiple digital payment companies reportedly joined hands and seek changes in few of theproposed guidelines. The major points of concern raised by the payment companies were those pertaining to demand for a mandatory full KYC or know your-customer certification, phased introduction of interoperability and restriction of peer-to-peer fund transfer in semi-KYC wallets.