RBI Issues Draft Guidelines for Payment Aggregators

The payments ecosystem in India includes online PAs and PAs, which facilitate face-to-face/proximity payment transactions.

RBI Issues Draft Guidelines for Payment Aggregators

The Reserve Bank has rolled out the draft guidelines to further bolster regulations on payment aggregators which is categorized at boosting the payment ecosystem. The circular draft also includes the physical point-of-sale activities of payment aggregators (PAs).

According to the Central Bank,  given the growth in digital transactions and the significant role that PAs play in this space, the current directions on PAs are proposed to be updated and cover, inter alia, KYC and due diligence of merchants, operations in Escrow accounts, and intended to strengthen the payment ecosystem.

The payments ecosystem in India includes online PAs and PAs, which facilitate face-to-face/proximity payment transactions.

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In respect of KYC and due diligence, it is notified that the payment aggregators should undertake due diligence of merchants on-boarded by them in accordance with Customer Due Diligence (CDD) prescribed in Master Directions on Know Your Customer (MD-KYC), 2016.

"PAs shall ensure that marketplaces onboarded by them do not collect and settle funds for services not offered through their platform," said the draft and RBI has invited comments on it by May 31, 2024.

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For face-to-face/proximity payment transactions done using cards, from August 1, 2025, the draft said no entity in the card transaction/payment chain, other than the card issuers and/or card networks, shall store the Card-on-File (CoF) data.

Further,  non-banks providing PA-P services should have a minimum net worth of Rs 15 crore at the time of submitting an application to the RBI for authorisation and a minimum net worth of Rs 25 crore by March 31, 2028. Additionally,  net worth of Rs 25 crore shall be maintained at all times thereafter.

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