Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announces major initiatives related to Payment Systems in Banks


Banknet India Conference on Payment Systems in banks, which concluded recently discussed and debated on Technology and Payment Systems, Cheque Truncation System, Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), Cash Management, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, ATMs.

More than 25 CTOs, CEOs and Business Heads from major banks, technology vendors and Top officials from Reserve Bank's newly formed Department of Payment and Settlement Systems (DPSS) addressed 250 senior level bankers and IT professionals from more than 90 organisations.

Mr Anurag Khanna CEO of Banknet India while emphasizing the importance of the Payment and Settlement Systems for banks added that if managed through a clear, coherent strategy, payments can be a real source of competitive advantage and consistent profitability for banks.

Dr R B Barman, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India announced that the RBI is planning to introduce T+0 settlement for electronic clearing system in Mumbai by mid-August. Currently, bulk cash settlements for payment of dividend warrants and corporate salary payments take two days (T+2).

RBI is also working with the Centre to draft a comprehensive legislation on payment system. The Payment System Bill will give the apex bank powers to form regulations for the payment industry

Cheque truncation will be introduced in the National Capital Region (NCR) by March 2006, following which it will be rolled out in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, said Dr Barman.

The RTGS system, which was launched in March' 04, enables online clearing and settlement of payments on a real-time basis. At present, around 4,934 bank branches are under RTGS at 399 centers and daily transactions are worth Rs 44,000 crore route through RTGS. 10,000 bank branches will be covered under the RTGS network by March 2005.

Indian Bank's Association (IBA), in association with member banks, will form a company that will act as an umbrella organisation for operating all retail payments and settlement systems in India. "The company will act as a holding body and the 1050 clearing houses will act as franchisees," said Reserve Bank of India executive director Dr R B Barman.

IBA has formed a working group which has representatives from public sector banks, private banks, foreign banks and co-operative banks and will decide on the nature and the model of the company. Number of banks including ICICI Bank, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank and 12 public sector entities are likely to pick up stake in this company.

Mr A P Hota, Chief General Manager, Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, RBI discussed the mission of the Vision document released by RBI for the establishment of safe, secure, sound and efficient payment and settlement systems for the country.

Mr. Nageshwar Rao, CEO, IDBI bank emphasized the importance of efficient payment system in banks to speed up the liquidity flow in the economy and to create a momentum for economic growth.

Mr K Sudhakar, General Manager, RBI and Mr S N Panda, Deputy General Manager, RBI spoke in detail on the Cheque Truncation System and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) respectively.


    

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