The PSS Act, 2007 provides for the regulation and supervision of payment systems in India and designates the Reserve Bank of India (Reserve Bank) as the authority for that purpose and all related matters. The Reserve Bank is authorized under the Act to constitute a Committee of its Central Board known as the Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS), to exercise its powers and perform its functions and discharge its duties under this statute. The Act also provides the legal basis for “netting” and “settlement finality”. This is of great importance, as in India, other than the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system all other payment systems function on a net settlement basis.
Under the PSS Act, 2007, two Regulations have been made by the Reserve Bank of India,
- Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008
- Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008.
The Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008 covers matters like form of application for authorization for commencing/ carrying on a payment system and grant of authorization, payment instructions and determination of standards of payment systems, furnishing of returns/documents/other information, furnishing of accounts and balance sheets by system provider etc.
Payments Systems in India
The Payments System in any country would have following key elements:
• Payment Parties: Payer and Payee
• Payment Instruments: Instrument which is used to settle the values between Payer and Payee depending upon the type of transactions (commercial, money transfer, domestic, international, settlement etc) value of transaction (micro to macro) etc.
• Payments Infrastructure: Infrastructure would include Payments Instrument Generation and Management System, Transaction System, Clearing and Settlement System
• Others: Independent entities supporting the systems, technology and various processes either as vendors or outsourcing partners
• Environment: Social, Market, Regulatory, Operating etc.
Under the PSS Act, 2007, operating a payment system without authorization, failure to comply with the terms of authorization, failure to produce statements, returns information or documents or providing false statement or information, disclosing prohibited information, non-compliance of directions of Reserve Bank violations of any of the provisions of the Act, Regulations, order, directions etc., are offences punishable for which Reserve Bank can initiate criminal prosecution. Reserve Bank is also empowered to impose fine for certain contraventions under the Act. (Sections 26 and 30 of the PSS Act, 2007).