RBI, NEFTThe RBI has also increased the limit on prepaid payment instrument accounts to Rs 2 lakh per person. (Image: REUTERS)

The Reserve Bank of India would now allow RTGS and NEFT connectivity with non-bank payment system operators, paving the way for UPI interoperability. Along with this, the RBI also increased the maximum balance per customer for payment banks to Rs 2 lakh per individual from Rs 1 lakh earlier. “This facility is expected to minimize settlement risk in the financial system and improve the reach of digital financial services to all user segments,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said after the first bimonthly meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee for this exercise.

Centralized payment systems such as RTGS and NEFT, operated by the RBI, have until now been limited to only banks with a few exceptions. RBI announced today that it is proposing to allow non-bank payment systems such as PPIs, card networks, white-label ATM operators, among others, to directly become members of the central bank RTGS and NEFT.

RBI had published guidelines for adopting interoperability on a voluntary basis for full KYC PPIs earlier in October 2018. “As the migration to interoperability was not significant, it is now proposed to make interoperability mandatory for full KYC PPIs and for the entire payment acceptance infrastructure,” said the RBI Governor. To encourage the same, RBI will increase the exceptional limit of these PPIs to Rs 2 lakh from the limit of Rs 1 lakh earlier. The central bank said it would issue a separate circular for the announced changes.

In addition, in an effort to encourage people to carry less cash and therefore perform more digital transactions, RBI also proposed to allow the ability to withdraw cash, for full KYC PPIs from issuers of Non-bank PPIs.

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