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RBI gets supported by PCI on its latest PIDF scheme

Madhushree Chakrabarty January 7, 2021
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Reserve Bank of India announced the implementation of the long-awaited scheme on the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF). The scheme was very much appreciated by the Payments Council of India ( PCI ) stating that this scheme will drive the digital payments industry in the Tier-3 to Tier-6 cities across the country.

As per PCI, the new scheme is aimed at spreading the digitization of payments in the remote areas and cities of the country. The scheme also aimed at covering the various payment acceptance devices such as mPoS (mobile PoS), PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), physical PoS, GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), QR code-based payments, etc.

Mr. Vishwas Patel, Chairman, Payments Council of India( PCI ), and Director, Infibeam Avenues Limited appreciated RBI’s move to support the penetration of digital payments in the hinterland of the country. He said: “PIDF scheme will boost the acceptance of digital payment in the yet to be completely tapped regions by the industry. This support from the RBI will motivate the industry to set targets for itself and unveil the potential of the targeted geographies in a great way.” Mr. Patel, who is also a member of the ex-officio Advisory Council for the scheme added: “The move will certainly help the RBI and industry to work closely in achieving its vision of Financial inclusion and digital transformation.”

Mr. Dilip Asbe, Managing Director and CEO of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said, “We welcome RBI’s initiative of creating this first-of-its-kind Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), with overall industry stakeholders as participants in the fund. We are confident that this significant move will provide a fillip to the last mile penetration of digital payments and acceptance infrastructure – thereby driving digital financial inclusion in the hinterland. Special focus on NE is well deserved and will accelerate digitization. This well-timed RBI’s initiative of PIDF creation, along with the recently announced increased limit of contactless payments from INR 2000 to INR 5000, will promote significant adoption of digital transactions”.

T R Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India, and South Asia, Visa said, “We are delighted that the RBI has now operationalized the Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF). The fund, created in June last year, will play a pivotal role in accelerating digital payments acceptance and benefit merchants and consumers in hitherto underpenetrated regions of the country. Visa will continue to work with the RBI and the ecosystem to augment payment acceptance infrastructure in Tier 3 cities and beyond, as well as the North East.”

Mr. Manish Patel, Founder & CEO, Mwsipe Technologies said “The PIDF guidelines unveiled by RBI is a landmark move for the payment industry. This move removes the shackles that have been holding the merchant services back in tier 3+ towns and villages. We are highly appreciative of the collaborative approach of the RBI in building the right framework that will usher in the next big wave of digital payment acceptance in the country.”

“The implementation of PIDF will set off an exciting phase of acceleration of digital payments adoption across India. Small merchants, especially in tier-3 locations and beyond will be the biggest beneficiaries as the cost of deployment of PoS devices and servicing constraints have been the biggest barriers in adoption. PIDF will ensure banks and fintech companies get the required support to prioritize these locations. Prevailing macro factors were already pushing the consumer and merchant demand for payments and in-store digitization solutions. Now the focus needs to be to deliver world-class, India-first products to these small merchants in a cost-effective manner and therefore all entities need to collaborate now more than ever before.” said Nitish Asthana, President, and COO, Pine Labs.

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