RBI launches ‘Ombudsman Mechanism/ Scheme’ for ‘Digital Payments/ Transactions’ from 31 Jan. 2019
RBI has issued directions to launch ‘Ombudsman Mechanism’ for redressal of complaints against deficiency in services related to digital payments/ transactions, i.e. ‘Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019‘, w.e.f. 31 Jan. 2019, to protect public interest and to promote the interest of conduct of business relating to India’s payment systems.
It may be noted that the System Participants defined under the ‘Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019‘ shall be covered by the Scheme and should comply with the provisions of the same. ‘System Participant’ means any person other than a bank participating in a payment system as defined under Section 2 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 excluding a ‘System Provider’. In other words, 2 ‘System Provider’ means and includes a person who operates an authorised payment system as defined under Section 2 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
“Digital Transaction’ is defined as a payment transaction in a seamless system effected without the need for cash at least in one of the two legs, if not in both. This includes transactions made through digital / electronic modes wherein both the originator and the beneficiary use digital / electronic medium to send or receive money.”
‘Ombudsman for Digital Transactions’ means any officer of the Reserve Bank appointed under Clause 4 of the Scheme. The Reserve Bank may appoint one or more of its officers in the rank of Chief General Manager or General Manager to be known as Ombudsman for Digital Transactions to carry out the functions entrusted to them by or under the Scheme. The appointment of Ombudsman for Digital Transactions may be made for a period not exceeding three years at a time.
Please refer the attached Scheme for clarity on Address and Area of Operation of the Ombudsmen for Digital Transactions (21 locations including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, etc.), Form and Procedure of Complaint to be lodged with the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions, Procedure for Redressal of Grievance, etc.
The Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019 will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in customer services in digital transactions conducted through non-bank entities regulated by RBI. Complaints relating to digital transactions conducted through banks will continue to be handled under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme.
The offices of Ombudsman for Digital Transactions will function from the existing 21 offices of the Banking Ombudsman and will handle complaints of customers from their respective territorial jurisdiction.
The Scheme provides for an Appellate mechanism under which the complainant / System Participant has the option to appeal against the decision of the Ombudsman before the Appellate Authority