Payments Outages Due to Failure in Banks’ Systems, Not NPCI: Das

Das said the banks are investing adequately on the technology front, but it is necessary for the IT systems to keep pace with the growth of the overall business.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das

Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday said the Reserve Bank of India has found that the public suffers challenges in executing online payment transactions because of problems in the banks' systems, and not that of the UPI or NPCI.

Das said each and every instance of an outage is studied by officials concerned at the central bank to analyse what caused it and added that no issue has been found with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) or Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform run by the body.

"There is no problem at the end of NPCI or UPI. The problem comes from the bank's end. And we also need to keep this in mind," Das said, adding that the RBI teams also check up with NPCI while investigating an outage.

It can be noted that the RBI has been very strict with entities to ensure that the system down times are minimal, and has also imposed business restrictions on lenders like Kotak Mahindra Bank when they saw deficiencies.

Das said the banks are investing adequately on the technology front, but it is necessary for the IT systems to keep pace with the growth of the overall business.

The RBI will not prescribe lenders any level of technology spends that they need to undertake every year, he said, urging banks to ensure that the disaster recovery sites are kept active always.

Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar said a slew of efforts, including pushing users to use UPI Lite, which frees the bank servers are being encouraged.

At present, the UPI Lite platform is witnessing 10 million transactions per month, but as these grow, the pressures on bank servers will reduce, he said.

Meanwhile, when asked about his comments earlier in the day about some entities charging usurious interest rates, Deputy Governor Swaminathan J said a few entities have indeed been found to be indulging in it but stressed that this is not a system-wide issue.

"Our guideline says the interest rate charged should be fair and transparent. I am not saying this is system-wide, but we have seen some outliers are there," Das said, adding that whenever any concerns are found out, it triggers bilateral talks between the regulator and the regulated entity.

The governor also said some banks are not making key disclosures like the key financial statement to borrowers, and such behaviour has also resulted in checks and sensitisation efforts by the regulator.

Swaminathan, a commercial banker-turned-regulator, also said that the RBI will not prescribe any typical credit deposit ratio at the system level for banks but may undertake a dialogue with the board on the matter.

"We have requested the boards to relook at the business plans taking into account the widening gap between credit and deposit growths for long term sustainability," he told reporters.

Asked about the overall outlook of the non-bank lenders in context of recent actions, Das said there is no concerns on the industry and also added that only three such entities of a total of 9,500 have been acted against.

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