RBI, through the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has introduced a redressal mechanism for UPI (Unified Payments Interface). The entities call the function ‘UPI Help’ for digital payments. However, the New online dispute redressal (ODR) mechanism is only available for the BHIM UPI app users for now. This will enable BHIM UPI users to use check status, raise complaints for incomplete transactions to individuals and complaints for merchant transactions.
In January 2021, RBI had stated that the NPCI is responsible for operating UPI services. It had shown huge concern about the misuse of data collected by the UPI platforms run by companies like Google, Amazon, and WhatsApp providing the UPI services. It further stated that the retail payments organization is the sole entity responsible for ensuring companies comply with all rules and regulations. According to RBI, these payment apps are not system providers. Therefore, they do not fall under the regulatory domain of RBI directly. NPCI is the system provider of UPI and, therefore, comes under the regulatory radar of RBI. Introduction of the UPI-Help is one of the first move by the NPCI to address the concerns of the RBI.
NPCI claims that ‘UPI Help’ for digital payments will help users register complaints online using their BHIM UPI App for failed UPI transactions and resolve complaints online for person to person transactions.
Initially, only the users of BHIM app who are consumers of State Bank of India, AXIS Bank, HDFC Bank, and ICICI Bank will be able to raise disputes. Soon this will be extended to PayTm Payments Bank and TJSB Sahakari Bank. After successful implementation this will be further extended to all the banks participating in UPI.
According to the NPCI’s circular, this initiative will “empower the customers to confidently adopt digital payments and go cashless.”
The circular also mentions that other banks are also readying their infrastructure to implement UPI-Help. This will create an entire digital payment ecosystem focused on customer protection.
This move makes Indian Government’s BHIM App a more appealing and safer option for online transactions.
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