RBI says mobile banking has miles to go to reach traction

Tags: News
The Reserve Bank has expressed its disappointment over the lower-than-expected spread of mobile banking in the country saying the awareness levels of this tool has been wanting.

"Though mobile banking channel has the potential to be one of the key tools for achieving financial inclusion, the growth and acceptance of mobile banking as a channel of accessing banking service has been below expectation," the central bank said in its half-yearly financial stability report released earlier this week.

The report listed a slew of reasons for the poor show such as low levels of awareness and acceptance, inability of banks to seed the mobile number with the account number, incompatible handsets, absence of collaboration and revenue sharing models between banks and mobile operators, and absence of USD channels for mobile banking among others.

The RBI allows only a bank-led model for mobile banking, with only those banks having physical presence in the country are permitted to offer this service.

As on date, as many as 78 banks, including a few regional rural banks, urban cooperative banks, offer mobile banking services in the country.

However, on the payment and settlement system infrastructure, the report said it performed without any major disruptions.

The regulator said it did not notice any noteworthy exceptions during the business continuity plan/disaster recovery drills carried out in July 2013, which covered live operations of payment and settlement systems applications-- real time gross settlement system (RTGS) and core banking solution drill.

The report said no significant downtime was experienced in the major payment and settlement systems over the last six months, as observed from the drills and vulnerability assessment and penetration testing conducted by 47 public and private sector banks for the first two quarters of the year.

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