RBI considering levying charges on UPI-based fund transfer, seeks public feedback

The Reserve Bank of India may soon allow the levy of charges on UPI-based fund transfers as well. RBI is seriously considering this scheme so that its operating expenses can be recovered. Recently RBI had imposed interchange charge on debit card, due to which using debit card has also become costly. The Reserve Bank of India has also sought suggestions from the people for this.

The central bank has released a paper to discuss fees in payment systems and has sought public comments on the subject. The paper states that RBI, as the operator, has to recover the cost of large investment and operating expenses in RTGS. Because it involves expenditure of public money. Further, the charges levied by RBI in Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) are not a means of earning. By levying charges on digital transactions, the expenditure on its system will be maintained so that this facility continues without any interruption.

Charges on UPI-based fund transfer

Apart from UPI based transactions, payment is also done through RTGS and NEFT. There is a fee on these payments. RTGS is mainly used for large transactions. It is mainly used by banks and large institutions/merchants. The paper asked whether for such a system involving institutions as members, the RBI should provide free transactions. RBI says that RBI does not get profit in the operation of NEFT. But the recovery of cost can be justified.

The paper released by RBI asked that even if such infrastructure is treated as a public good and digitization of payments is called a service, is it okay not to charge any fee? The paper has put forward the possibility of charges for Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions being regulated by the RBI. It is believed that soon RBI will also impose charges on UPI payments.

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