All Prepaid Payment Instrument
Issuers, System Providers and System Participants
Madam / Dear Sir,
Prepaid Payment Instruments
(PPIs) – Guidelines for Interoperability
A reference is invited to
the Master Direction
DPSS.CO.PD.No.1164/02.14.006/2017-18 dated October 11, 2017 (updated
as on December 29, 2017) on Issuance and Operation of PPIs (M.D.). As per
the road-map laid down therein, interoperability of all KYC-compliant PPIs
was to be enabled in three phases - (i) interoperability of PPIs issued in
the form of wallets through Unified Payments Interface (UPI), (ii)
interoperability between wallets and bank accounts through UPI, and (iii)
interoperability for PPIs issued in the form of cards through card
2. In order to prepare better
for implementation of interoperability, consolidated guidelines for
enabling all phases are enclosed.
Participating PPI issuers, who choose to adopt interoperability shall
ensure adherence to the enclosed guidelines, in addition to the
instructions on KYC, security for transactions and application life cycle,
cyber security, fraud prevention and risk management as in the M.D.
3. Banks shall also be guided by
the RBI circulars
DBS.CO/CSITE/BC.11/33.01.001/2015-16 dated June 2, 2016 on
‘Cyber Security Framework in Banks’ and DBS.CO.ITC.BC.No.6/31.02.008/2010-11
dated April 29, 2011 on ‘Working Group on Information Security,
Electronic Banking, Technology Risk Management and Cyber Frauds -
Implementation of Recommendations’, as applicable.
4. Furthermore, all
participating PPI issuers shall be guided by the technical specifications /
standards / requirements for achieving interoperability through UPI and
card networks as per the requirements of National Payments Corporation of
India (NPCI) and the respective card networks. NPCI and card networks shall
facilitate participation by PPI issuers in UPI and card networks.
5. These guidelines are issued
under Section 18 read with Section 10(2) of the Payment and Settlement
Systems Act, 2007.
Chief General Manager
Encl.: As above
Payment Instruments (PPIs) – Operational Guidelines for Interoperability
(DPSS.CO.PD.No.808/02.14.006/2018-19 dated October 16, 2018)
1.1 Interoperability is the
technical compatibility that enables a payment system to be used in
conjunction with other payment systems. Interoperability allows PPI
Issuers, System Providers and System Participants in different systems to
undertake, clear and settle payment transactions across systems without
participating in multiple systems.
2.1 The requirements mentioned
herein, with respect to interoperability, are in addition to the provisions
of Master Direction on PPIs.
2.2 PPI issuers shall have a
Board approved policy for achieving PPI interoperability.
3. Requirements for achieving
interoperability: Common to Wallets and Cards
3.1 Where PPIs are issued in the
form of wallets, interoperability across PPIs shall be enabled through UPI.
3.2 Where PPIs are issued in the
form of cards, the cards shall be affiliated to the authorised card
3.3 All PPI issuers intending to
implement interoperability through UPI and / or card networks shall adhere
to the instructions contained in these guidelines. PPI issuers operating
exclusively in specific segments like Meal, Gift and MTS may also implement
3.4 The interoperability shall
be facilitated to all KYC compliant PPI accounts and entire acceptance
requirements: PPI issuers shall adhere to all the requirements of
card networks / UPI including membership type and criteria, merchant
on-boarding, adherence to various standards, rules and regulations
applicable to the specific payment system such as technical requirements,
certifications and audit requirements, governance, etc.
customer protection and grievance redressal:
issuers shall ensure adherence to all guidelines / requirements of card
networks / UPI in terms of reconciliation of positions at daily / weekly /
monthly or more frequent basis, as the case may be.
issuers shall adhere to all dispute resolution and customer grievance
redressal mechanisms as prescribed by the card networks / UPI.
4. Requirements for achieving
interoperability through card networks
4.1 Card networks are allowed to
onboard PPI issuers to join their network. Non-bank PPI issuers are
permitted to participate as members / associate members of authorised card
4.2 Settlement: For
the purpose of settlement, a non-bank PPI issuer can participate directly
or through a sponsor bank arrangement as the case may be. Non-bank PPI
issuers shall adhere to the requirements of respective card network’s
4.3 Safety and security:
non-bank PPI issuers will issue interoperable cards in association with
card networks for the first time, the cards issued by these entities shall
ab initio be EMV Chip and PIN compliant.
shall ensure that all new PPIs issued in the form of cards are EMV Chip and
shall ensure that all reissuance / renewal of PPIs in the form of cards are
EMV Chip and PIN compliant.
issuers operating exclusively in Meal segment shall issue EMV Chip and PIN
compliant cards, if they opt for interoperability. Gift cards and MTS, may
however, be issued with or without EMV Chip and PIN enablement.
5. Requirements for achieving
interoperability through UPI
5.1 PPI issuers shall facilitate
all basic / standard features of interoperability of UPI.
5.2 PPI issuers shall act as
Payment System Providers (PSP) in the UPI. NPCI will issue handle to the
PPI issuers as per its policy / guidelines taking risk management aspects
into consideration. Since *99# USSD is part of UPI, non-bank PPI issuers
are also allowed to participate in the same.
5.3 PPI holders shall be
on-boarded for UPI by their own PPI issuer only. PPI issuers shall only
link their customer wallets to the handle issued to them. PPI issuers as
PSP shall not on-board customers of any bank or any other PPI issuer.
5.4 Authentication will be
completed by the PPI holder as per his / her existing wallet credentials.
In other words, a transaction will be pre-approved before it reaches the
5.5 Settlement: For
the purposes of settlement, a non-bank PPI issuer shall participate through
a sponsor bank. Non-bank PPI issuers shall adhere to the requirements of
sponsor bank arrangement in UPI as also meet all requirements of NPCI in