If the mobile wallet interoperability becomes a reality, payment banks fear that it may pose a challenge to their facilities.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may soon allow mobile wallet interoperability but with a condition of Rs 25-crore capital requirement imposed on licence holders, reported The Economic Times quoting payment industry executives familiar with the matter.
“We have learned that interoperability could be opened for only those players with a positive net worth of Rs 25 crore, thereby ensuring only the major wallet companies are allowed in this space,” a chief executive of a Delhi-based payments company told the paper.
Many of the 50 companies, who hold prepaid payment instrument licences, may not meet the capital requirement of Rs 25 crore.
The higher net worth requirement may pave way for serious players to start offering the new inter-wallet payment services to their customers, one of the persons quoted above said.
RBI did not respond to an email query sent by the paper.
Earlier, the regulator had raised the minimum net worth for a mobile wallet issuer to Rs 15 crore from Rs 5 crore.
If the mobile wallet interoperability becomes a reality, payment banks fear that it may pose a challenge to services they offer. The CEOs of payment banks had earlier passed a resolution to approach RBI claiming that wallet interoperability may cause ‘regulatory arbitrage’.
The RBI, however, promised interoperability to mobile wallets in October last year. “Interoperability shall be enabled in the_rbi_may_soon_allow_transfer_of_money_07sep.mp4phases for the PPIs,” RBI said.
While the interoperability among wallets will be the first phase, the regulator will allow fund transfers between bank accounts and wallets through the UPI platform in subsequent phases, the central bank said in its guidelines.
Interoperability will be allowed only for those wallets which are compliant with KYC norms, the regulator said as part of its revised master directions for prepaid payments instruments.
The higher net worth requirement will likely be listed among the final guidelines by RBI, industry sources told the paper.The move may, however, make it harder for small and mid-sized companies to sustain in the field owing to the capital expenses. “Now, if interoperability is restricted to bigger players, then there would not be any business case left,” a founder of a Mumbai-based domestic remittance company told the paper.