MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India has allayed apprehension over mobile wallet money and said, customers will not lose money even if wallet companies remain non-compliant to its full KYC (Know Your Customer) guidelines after the last deadline expires on Wednesday.
But, such assurance came with restrictions, which are aimed at strengthening the system.
“PPI (Pre-paid instrument) issuers not obtaining the KYC related inputs of their customers within the timeline, the customer will not lose their money,” said B.P. Kanungo, deputy governor of RBI. “Reloading of the PPI and remittances can resume after completing the KYC requirement.”
“They (customers) can continue to undertake transactions for purchase of goods and services as thereto to the extent of available balance in the PPI,” he said.
Full KYC basically requires you to link your PPI account with your Aadhaar number. Some other important documents like residential proofs are needed too.
This means, you can continue buying stuff from e-commerce portals or paying taxi bills with whatever residual balance left in those wallets.
There are 55 non-banking PPIs operational now, apart from 50 wallets promoted by banks. Some popular PPIs in use now include Paytm (which is now a bank), Citrus Wallet, Ola Money, Mobiqwik, Sodexo.
The RBI had prescribed guidelines governing issuance, issued on 11 Oct last year. The guidelines are designed to strengthen safety and security of transactions and customer protection. Initially, the timeline was set at December 31 for PPI issuers to comply with the KYC requirements.
It is a necessary step to pave the way for interoperability between PPIs, bank accounts and cards in a phased manner, said Kanungo.
The deadline was later extended up to 28 February this year as some PPI issuers requested for extension citing their niche target audience.
“Sufficient time has already been given to meet the prescribed guidelines,” the deputy governor said hinting that there would not be any more extension of deadline.
PPIs apparently find the KYC requirement a challenging job as they fear business loss if stricter guidelines are implemented with majority customers sticking to minimum KYC.
A wallet user just needs to sign up by providing mobile number, duly verified.The authorities find it too vulnerable as it could be misused by even terrorists.