The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) recently released framework for geo-tagging of payment system touchpoints is part of the central bank’s broader policy to expand the scope of digital payments in the Indian economy.
It aims to enable proper monitoring of the available payment infrastructures, such as Point of Sale (PoS) machines, Quick Response (QR) codes, among others, and provide viable payment access to every Indian citizen.
"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is focused on deepening digital payments and providing inclusive access to all citizens of the country, irrespective of their location or digital literacy. Therefore, capturing the accurate location of existing payment system touchpoints/acceptance infrastructure is essential to upscaling and chalking out intervention strategies. This requirement can be effectively facilitated by geo-tagging of payment touchpoints," the RBI said in a circular.
Geo-location coordinates simply mean the latitude and longitude of any particular area on Earth. For example, New Delhi's latitude is 28.644800 and its longitude is 77.216721.
What Did The Framework Say?
The framework said that all banks and non-bank payment system operators (PSOs) should capture and maintain geographical coordinates for all payment touchpoints deployed by them. This record of all the PoS terminals, paper-based or soft QR codes, should also be submitted to the RBI in a.text or.csv format.
Banks and non-bank PSOs will have to give two files to the RBI.
File No.1 should contain details of the merchants acquired and/or on-boarded by the banks and non-bank PSOs. This implies that all merchant-related information like name, merchant ID, merchant contact details, location, pin code, etc., will be reported in file 1.
File No.2 should contain the details on the payment touchpoints deployed by the said merchants. This means that all the general touchpoint details, such as payment terminal ID, operating status, location details, geo-coordinates of the payment device/solution, etc., will be there in file no.2.
Banks and non-banks should report information on payment touchpoints to the RBI through the Centralised Information Management System (CIMS).
Who Is Responsible For The Accurate Collection Of This Data?
The RBI has directed that all banks and non-bank PSOs be solely responsible for ensuring data about payment touchpoints is deployed and for ensuring that the merchant database is up-to-date and accurate. Further, the RBI has asked the banks and non-bank PSOs to put in place all the necessary measures in their systems to ensure timely capture and reporting of the required information to the RBI as per the indicated timelines.
The circular also mentioned that banks and non-bank PSOs have to submit the nodal officer's contact details for recording the geo-tagging data purposes by March 31, 2022. The RBI will then provide their login credentials to submit it to the CIMS system.