To push digital transactions in rural and semi-urban areas, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday issued a framework allowing offline payments up to Rs.200 per transaction, subject to an overall limit of Rs 2,000 until the balance in the account is replenished. Balance replenishment can only occur in an online mode. The new framework is applicable with immediate effect.
An offline digital payment means a transaction that does not require internet or telecom connectivity. Under this new framework, such payments can be carried out face-to-face (proximity mode) using any channel or instrument like cards, wallets, mobile devices, etc. Such transactions would not require an Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA). Since the transactions are offline, alerts (by way of SMS and/or e-mail) will be received by the customer after a time lag.
Offline mode of payment can be enabled only after obtaining the specific consent of the customer. Customers shall enjoy protection under the provisions of circulars limiting customer liability issued by Reserve Bank (as amended from time to time). Customers also have recourse to the Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme for grievance redress.
The framework incorporates the feedback received from the pilot experiments on offline transactions conducted in different parts of the country during the period from September 2020 to June 2021.