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RBI to launch central fraud tracking registry for digital payments


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor has announced new regulatory policy measures to enhance the efficiency of Payment and Settlement Systems, and issues regarding the state of NBFCs in India in its third bi-monthly Monetary Policy Press Conference held today.

Talking to media, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced that the NEFT  retail payment system will be made available on a 24×7 basis from December this year, in an effort to push the digital retail payments ecosystem in India.

In one of the much-awaited decisions, he also announced that the apex banking body will facilitate the creation and operation of a Central Registry for tracking fraud payments. 

The new system will be designed on the lines of Cental Fraud Registry, which was launched in 2016 as a searchable database for banks to detect instances of fraud by creditors. A detailed framework on the proposed registry would be released by the regulators in October later this year.

The new registry will allow the participants in the Payments Systems to have access to near real-time fraud monitoring to identify the defaulters. RBI would also publish the aggregated fraud data to be circulated in the public to spread the information about the emerging risks of the system among investors.

The rising instances of fraud across digital payment platforms led to questions regarding the effectiveness of the regulatory framework put in place by the RBI to curb such menace. 

The fraud registry was first suggested by the Nandan Nilekani headed committee as a measure to provide additional security to the end-user who may use it to evaluate the fraud risk for all users and transactions.

The payments fraud database was also mentioned in the Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2019 – 2021 statement published by the RBI among other measures including A 24X7 HELPLINE, a grievance redressal mechanism and drafting a new framework to test the resilience of Payments Systems.

The report also proposed the conduction of the customer surveys to gauge awareness and usage of various payment services, and to introduce the usage of   Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) which will improve the quality of data by providing additional information about the payment transaction.

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