Ombudsman for digital transactions

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday said that it will set up an ombudsman for digital transactions. The move was prompted by the fact that with digital transactions gaining rapid pace over the past year, multiple issues such as failed transactions and wrong remittances have been cropping up.

Significantly, according to the RBI’s annual report for FY17-18, there has been an increase in the number of complaints related to digital payments and prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) issued by the banks and non-banks. The grievances relating to digital mode of financial transactions accounted for 19 per cent of the total complaints during 2016-17. This went up to 28 per cent till the end of June 2018. Going by the RBI report, a total of 3.5 billion transactions took place with PPIs valued at Rs 1,416 billion.

Besides, the share of electronic transactions in retail payments have also increased to 92.6 per cent in 2017-18 as compared to 88.9 per cent in the previous year. Therefore, while payment technology has evolved from physical to digital transactions, one thing remains common with both the technologies: complaints. While digital transactions, particularly post demonetisation, have grown enormously, complaints regarding these have also grown equally significantly.   

Ritwik Mukherjee