RBI to rollout framework for digital retail payments in offline mode

In a move to further enhance the digital payments ecosystem in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed to introduce a framework for carrying out retail digital payments in offline mode across the country, on October 8.

The move simply refers to the introduction of a facility where digital transactions could be carried out even in situations where the internet connectivity is low or not available viz. offline mode.

Governor of RBI Shaktikanta Das said that a pilot project based on this innovative technology facilitating digital payments in offline mode has been successful. Learnings from the pilot indicate that there is a scope to introduce such solutions, especially in remote areas. Das said this in a virtual address after the MPC meeting.

As per a statement from the apex bank on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated August 6, 2020, the bank has announced a scheme to conduct pilot tests of innovative technology that enables retail digital payments in situations where the internet connectivity is low or not available.

The RBI has carried out three successful trials in different parts of the country under the scheme from September 2020 to June 2021. These trials involved small-value transactions covering a volume of 2.41 lakh for the value Rs 1.16 crore. Based on the takeaways from the pilots and the encouraging feedback, the apex bank has now proposed to launch a framework for carrying out retail digital payments in offline mode across the country.

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