The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of the country, has announced a series of new steps to boost digital payments.
The steps include waiving off charges for online transactions in the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system. The decision is set to be effective from January next year.
RBI also plans to approve all authorised payment systems as well as non-bank PPIs, cards and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for linking with National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) FASTags. The move will enable the use of FASTags for parking, fuel purchases etc.
Additionally, the regulator seeks to enable e-mandate processing for UPI transactions.
A committee will be made to evaluate the merits of plurality of QR codes, from systemic and consumer viewpoints.
The slew of measures also includes operationalising the Acceptance Development Fund from 1 January 2020, to enhance acceptance infrastructure.
In a statement, RBI noted that digital payments accounted nearly 96% of total non-cash retail payments from October 2018 to September 2019.
In the same period, the NEFT and UPI systems managed 2.52 billion and 8.74 billion transactions, respectively. The figures marked a 20% and 263% surge on a year-on-year basis, respectively.
Last month, a YouGov and ACI Worldwide survey found that digital payments dominated the payment space in India this festival season. Of those polled, 42% selected digital payments as the preferred payment option, significantly higher compared to card payments (29%) and cash (27%).