The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday released a framework for small-value offline transactions in the digital mode. Offline payments may be made using any channel or instrument like cards, wallets or mobile devices, but they shall be made in proximity, or in the face-to-face mode only, the framework prescribed.
An offline payment refers to a transaction which does not require internet or telecom connectivity to take effect. Authorised payment system operators (PSOs) and payment system participants (PSPs) —banks as well as non-banks —which wish to offer payments in the offline mode will have to comply with the requirements under the framework.
Offline payment transactions may be offered without an additional factor of authentication (AFA). Payment instruments shall be enabled for offline transactions based on the explicit consent of the customer. Such transactions using cards shall be allowed without a requirement to switch on the contactless transaction channel, in relaxation of terms of an earlier circular.
The upper limit of an offline payment transaction shall be
200. The total limit for offline transactions on a payment instrument shall be2,000 at any point in time. Replenishment of the used limit shall be allowed only in online mode with AFA, the framework said.
The bank or non-bank issuer shall send transaction alerts to users as soon as transaction details are received. While there is no compulsion to send an alert for each transaction, the details of each transaction shall be adequately conveyed. The acquirer shall incur all liabilities arising out of technical or transaction security issues at the merchant’s end.
Customers shall have recourse to the RBI’s integrated ombudsman scheme, as applicable, for grievance redressal. The framework shall come into effect immediately.