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RBI Guv stresses on availability, affordability of grievance redressal mechanism in digital payments

Kochi: Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Saturday stressed the importance of the availability and affordability of an expeditious grievance redressal mechanism in digital payments.
Speaking at the Payment System Operators (PSO) Conference in Kochi on Saturday, the government said, "Availability and affordability of an expeditious grievance redress mechanism is of utmost importance to ensure public trust in digital payments." Shaktikanta Das said while the traditional bank branch model offers a physical place where customers could lodge their grievances, the same might not be the case in digital payments where users sometimes find it difficult to ascertain the appropriate forum for lodging their grievances. "More the struggle undertaken by people in resolving their grievances, more unlikely it becomes that they would attempt digital payments in future," he added.
Prompt reconciliation of transactions by PSOs is an easy and expeditious method of addressing customer grievances, the governor said, adding that latest technologies might also be leveraged to support rule-based resolution of grievances with zero to minimal manual intervention.
While there is wide appreciation of the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system conceived by RBI, the governor questioned, "how many PSOs have actually enabled it? Should not the entities embrace such initiatives upfront and enhance customer satisfaction? After all, PSOs deal with public money."
The governor also said the increase in digital payments and its users also brings to the fore potential risks pertaining to cyber security, data privacy and operational resilience. "PSOs must always be cognizant of the emerging threats and put in place suitable risk mitigation measures. A related area that requires focus is outsourcing arrangements of PSOs with their vendors," he added.
Service level agreements with vendors should meet minimum standards prescribed by the RBI, he said, adding, "In all such agreements, PSOs' right to conduct audit of the service provider must always be ensured."
The governor said many new-age tech firms are entering the payments ecosystem and some of them have come under the regulatory ambit of the Reserve Bank for the first time.
"In this digital age, there is a necessity to constantly upgrade the systems so as to remain relevant and increase efficiency. Legacy systems must be updated to bring them in line with changing realities," the governor said, adding, "While any system may be presumed to be resilient and safe, a single bad experience of the customer with digital payments may drive him away to other channels or modes of payments. PSOs have a big responsibility here." (ANI)

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