Retail payments: RBI extends deadline to submit application for NPCI-like umbrella entity


Stakeholders, including Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) had requested RBI to extend the deadline, which was to expire on February 26.

The Reserve Bank of India has extended the deadline for submitting applications to set up a pan-India umbrella entity for retail payments similar to the National Payments Corporation of India (India). The new deadline is March 31.

Stakeholders, including Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) had requested RBI to extend the deadline, which was to expire on February 26.

The central bank said: “Requests have been received from various stakeholders, including the IBA, for extending the timeline, keeping in view the covid-19 related disruptions and inconveniences. It has accordingly decided to extend the timeline for making the application up to March 31”.

The framework for setting up a New Umbrella Entity (NUE) for various payment services was released by the RBI last year. Currently, the National Payments Council of India (NPCI), which is incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation is the only entity performing the role of supporting payment systems, including RuPay, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and National Automated Clearing House, which handles the inter-bank transfers.

RBI’s move is aimed at developing a network parallel to NPCI, which can maintain interoperability with services such as UPI and yet foster innovation and inclusion in the payments space.

Reports suggest at least four consortiums are in the race to set up the NUE. These include a Tata group-led consortium and an Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Amazon and Visa consortium. State Bank of India is likely to become a key stakeholder in the NUE.

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