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RBI announces Operationalization of Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme

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RBI sets Rs 345 crore corpus for developing payment infrastructureOn January 5, 2021, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced Operationalization of the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme with an initial corpus of INR 345 Crores for three years starting from January 1, 2021 & may be extended for two more years depending upon the progress. An Advisory Council (AC) under the chairmanship of RBI Deputy Governor BP Kanungo will be responsible for managing the functioning of PIDF.

Objective:

i.To increase the number of Payment Acceptance Devices in the country.

ii.To increase payments acceptance infrastructure by adding 30 Lakh touch points10 Lakh Physical & 20 Lakh Digital Payment acceptance devices each year.

iii.The scheme aims to create payment acceptance infrastructure in Tier-3 to Tier-6 Centres with special focus on North East states.

Payments Infrastructure Development  Fund (PIDF) Scheme:

i.For the initial corpus of INR 345 Crores, INR 250 crores will be contributed by RBI & rest INR 95 Crores by authorized card networks operating in India.

ii.The scheme will cover multiple payment acceptance devices & infrastructure supporting card payments such as Physical PoS (Point of Service), mPoS (Mobile PoS), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), QR code-based payments).

iii.The targets of the scheme will be merchants who provide essential services like Transport & Hospitality, Government payments, fuel pumps, Public Distribution System (PDS) shops, healthcare facilities, Kiranas and those who don’t have a payment acceptance device.

iv.The scheme will benefit the banks/non-banks & merchants as it will lower the overall acceptance infrastructure cost.

v.The implementation of targets will be monitored by RBI, Mumbai Regional Office, Indian Banks’ Association, and Payments Council of India.

vi.The card issuing banks shall also contribute to the corpus based on the card issuance volume (covering both debit cards and credit cards) at the rate of ₹ 1 and ₹ 3 per debit and credit card issued by them

vii.The minimum usage shall be termed as 50 transactions over a period of 90 days and active status shall be minimum usage for 10 days over the 90-day period. The subsidy claims shall be processed on half yearly basis and 75 percent of the subsidy amount shall be released.

viii.The balance 25 percent shall be released later subject to the status of the acceptance device being active in 3 out of the 4 quarters of the ensuing year.

Claims:

i.The scheme will function on a reimbursement basis

ii.The maximum cost of a physical acceptance device eligible for subsidy is INR 10, 000.

iii.The maximum cost of digital acceptance device eligible for subsidy is INR 300.

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Background:

i.PIDF was formerly known as the Acceptance Development Fund and was announced on 4th October, 2019.

ii.It was mentioned in the Payment  System Vision Document 2021 of RBI.

Recent Related News:

i.On August 25, 2020, RBI released its Annual Report for 2019-20. It is a Report of the Central Board of Directors on the working of the RBI for the year ended June 30, 2020.

ii.On August 18, 2020, RBI released the “Framework for authorisation of pan-India Umbrella Entity for Retail Payments” on the lines of the feedback received on the “draft framework for authorisation of a pan-India New Umbrella Entity for Retail Payment Systems”  2020 for public comments.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):

Established on April 1, 1935 under  the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – B. P. Kanungo, M.K. Jain, M. D. Patra & M. Rajeshwar Rao