Users may soon be able to transfer funds from one mobile wallet to another, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowing inter-operability among prepaid payment instruments (PPIs). PPIs which include the likes of e-wallets, gift cards and meal coupons are used as substitutes for cash.

It is expected that PPIs can inter-operate within six months of the revised directions, RBI said in the ‘Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies’ today.
Mobile wallet companies supported RBI’s latest move saying it will increase adoption of digital payments in the country.

According to Bipin Preet Singh, Founder and CEO of MobiKwik, interoperability was one of the key challenges in increasing the adoption of digital payments in India.
“RBI’s latest direction in this regard will provide a homogenous environment for the growth of mobile wallets,” he said.

Singh explained that for the consumers, this would mean they do not have to download another wallet if they already have one and they can pay across the merchant network of any other PPI.

“This helps us widen our reach and bring enormous value to our business. Collaboration and co-competition are going to drive the digital payments industry into its next phase,” he said.

Kiran Vasireddy, Chief Operating Officer of Paytm, said, “We welcome the decision of RBI to bring interoperability amongst KYC-complaint wallets”. This, in turn, would act as a strong boost for digital payments ecosystem in India, Vasireddy said.

“Inter-operability amongst KYC compliant PPIs shall be implemented within six months of the date of issuance of the revised master directions, which will be issued within a week, i.e. by October 11, 2017,” RBI has said.

The RBI said revised framework will pave the way for inter-operability into usage of PPIs, as per the vision for Payment and Settlement Systems in the country. The vision envisages for India to migrate to electronic payments and ensure that such payments are safe, secure, authorised, efficient and accessible.