January 2017

With the government pushing ahead on its commitment to a less-cash economy, there will be considerable change in the way Indians transact this year. The Report of the Committee on Digital Payments, chaired by Shri Ratan P. Watal, was submitted in December, setting out a list of recommendations for implementation in the medium term i.e. over the next thirty to ninety days. While the report has called for comments from the public, the main recommendations include making payments regulation independent from the function of central banking by either creating a new payments regulator or making the current Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems within the Reserve Bank of India more independent; updating the Payments and Settlement Systems Act,2007 to include explicit mandate for competition and innovation,open access and interoperability, consumer protection including penalties and independent appeal mechanism, regulations on systemic risks, data protection and security and a process of regulatory governance; various measures to promote digital payments and receipts, upgrading payment systems like RTGS and NEFT to operate on 24x7 basis; allowing non-bank PSPs to directly access payment systems; diversifying ownership of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI); enabling interoperability between banks and non-banks as well as within non-banks etc.

As payments banks prepare to begin operations in India this year, a GSMA study notes that “the success of the payments banks hinges on dedicated and innovative commercial players and a regulator willing to maintain an open dialogue with the industry to ensure proportionality as the payments banks go-to-market.” A sustainable business model calls for payments banks using adjacent revenue streams (e.g., digital credit, micro insurance and merchant payments), more proportionate regulations on ongoing capital requirements and continued policy support to bring down both the high direct costs of account acquisition and maintenance.

Section I: Policy – the latest from India’s policymakers

Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17 Resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Reserve Bank of India
Edited Transcript Of Reserve Bank Of India’s Fifth Bi-Monthly Post Policy Conference Call With Media



Pradhan Mantri Jan - Dhan Yojana  
Trend of Zero Balance Accounts under PMJDY
Position of Overdraft
Position of Bank Mitra Infrastructure
Monthly Report sent to PMO for the month of November, 2016 on DB
Master Circular on Issuance and Operations of Prepaid Payment Instruments – Amendments to paragraph 7.9


Section II: News and Views Digest – the latest from India and abroad


Microfinance in India Growing Fast Again: Should We Be Concerned?
Paytm chooses UP for payments bank launch in February 2017
Airtel Payments Bank set to extend pilot to southern states
Can only love for our postman ensure success for India Post Payments Bank?
BHIM app for UPI-based payments: Everything you need to know
Digital push: Demonetisation propels ramping up cyber safety
India Post to open first bank branch in Jharkhand next month
Banks vs mobile wallets: The slugfest begins
Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank to launch in first half of 2017
Small borrower, big problem
Pema assures centre on Financial inclusion, DBT
RBI appoints Surekha Marandi as ED to look after financial inclusion
Transforming the digital payment infrastructure
India Needs Digital Payment Laws to Tackle e-frauds: CMAI
2016: The year cashless payments trended upwards
Govt plans to launch digital payment platforms in new avatars
Digital payments: The inflexion point and the curve ahead
Promoting digital payments: Same objective, several approaches


Four Drivers of Change for Financial Inclusion in 2017
ITU Blog: ITU to join new global initiative to expand digitalfinancial inclusion
Leveraging Complaint Data for Greater Consumer Protection
A Public-Private Partnership to Digitize Bus Fares in Rwanda
Digital P2G Initiatives: 5 Best Practices for Financial Inclusion
Interoperability: More Than a Technological Challenge
Sowing Opportunities and Growing Possibilities in Paraguay
New Trends in Global Funding for Financial Inclusion
Women’s Financial Inclusion: A Down Payment on Achieving the SDGs
Can a G2P Payment Connection Trigger Tax and Energy Reforms?
Accessible, Robust, Integrated: Identifying Good Payment Programs
Riding the “Rails”: Unlocking Innovation with Open APIs

Section III: Research – surveys and studies on expanding access to financial services

Digital Finance Interoperability & Financial Inclusion:
Pablo García Arabéhéty, Greg Chen, William Cook and Claudia McKay, CGAP, 20 December 2016

Eliminating Extreme Poverty:
Munshi Sulaiman, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan and Aude de Montesquiou, CGAP, 12 December 2016

Section IV: The latest from Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion

The monthly newsletter from the Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion documents the latest news and views in the financial inclusion space. Editor: Sumita Kale can be contacted at The Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion was launched in 2011 to distil and disseminate information on accelerating the poor’s access to high-quality financial services. The Centre is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

©Indicus Centre for Financial Inclusion. All rights reserved. 6th January 2017

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