The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday announced the opening of the first cohort under the regulatory sandbox with retail payments as its theme.
The adoption of retail payments as the theme is expected to spur innovation in digital payments space and help in offering payment services to the unserved and underserved segment of the population, it said in a statement.
Migration to digital modes of making a payment can obviate some of the costs associated with a cash economy and can give customers a friction-free experience.
The central bank said general innovation in mobile payment services has focussed on or supported app-based access limited to smartphones and such devices.
"There is a need to innovate payment services for feature phones to provide the necessary thrust towards enhanced adoption of digital payments by various strata of society."
Consumer behaviour has been driving the growth of digital payment systems as more and more consumers are embracing mobile technology. Though mobile internet speed has risen, connectivity issues remain unresolved in large areas.
"Therefore, providing an option of off-line payments through mobile devices for furthering the adoption of digital payments is required," said the RBI.
Contactless payments, while decreasing the time taken for payment checkout, also ease payments for small-ticket payment transactions. Tokenisation technologies often form the basis of facilitating seamless e-commerce experiences fuelled by mobile and other connected devices.
The rapid growth in devices provides a significant opportunity for payments through any form factor and anywhere.
The RBI said that live testing of new products or services in a controlled environment may require a bank, non-banking finance company or any other partner for the testing to commence. In such cases, a suitable partner may be secured in advance to be eligible for admission to the regulatory sandbox.
The window for submission of application for first cohort will open from November 15 to December 15.
The final enabling framework for regulatory sandbox was placed on the RBI website on August 13 after a wide-ranging consultative process with stakeholders. The objective is to foster responsible innovation in financial services, promote efficiency and bring benefit to consumers.
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