RBI conceptualises ‘bunker’-like light weight, portable payments system

Mumbai – RBI is exploring a lightweight and portable Payment and Settlement System (LPSS), which will be independent of traditional technologies and can be operated from anywhere with minimal staff.

“The lightweight and portable payment system can ensure near zero downtime of the country’s payment and settlement system and keep the liquidity pipeline of the economy alive and intact,” the central bank said in its annual report for 2022-2023.

The system will facilitate the uninterrupted functioning of essential payment services such as group payments, interbank payments and the provision of cash to participating institutions, during extreme and volatile situations or catastrophic events. You will operate on simple hardware and software, and will be active only on an as-needed basis, processing critical transactions to ensure economic stability.

“The presence of such a resilient system is also likely to serve as a cache in payment systems and thus enhance public confidence in digital payments and financial market infrastructure even in extreme conditions,” the report said.

Existing traditional payment systems such as RTGS, NEFT and UPI are designed to handle large volumes while ensuring sustainable availability and are therefore dependent on complex wired networks backed by advanced IT infrastructure, which can become unavailable due to disruptions in the information and communication infrastructure.

Frame reinforcement

As part of the ‘Utkarsh 2.0’ initiative, RBI will develop a flexible framework for supervising centralized payment systems – NEFT and RTGS. It will also look to upgrade the RTGS system, including improvements to existing functionality and the introduction of new ones.

The Central Bank will also review the continuation of the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) plan since it achieved its initial targets well ahead of schedule.

The implementation of the program resulted in a variety of innovative ideas and experiences at the field level that the members of the Advisory Board felt necessary to explore. “The feasibility of continuing the scheme along these lines will be explored,” the Reserve Bank of India said.

global standards

RBI said it is in an advanced stage of procurement and modernization of SOC (Security Operations Center) technologies, and making NEFT compliant with global messaging standards.

ISO 20022 accreditation will provide structured and accurate data, improved analytics, end-to-end automation, and better global coordination. It will also pave the way for interoperability between RTGS and NEFT, adding that RBI’s retail payments system will also be compliant with these standards.

The Central Bank is in the process of putting in place the infrastructure required to collect payment touchpoint details under the Payment Acceptance Infrastructure Geo-Tagging initiative. It is also looking forward to rolling out the UPI facility for foreign nationals at all points of entry in the country, linking the UPI to other countries’ Rapid Payment Systems (FPS) to enable both internal and external foreign transfers, and issuing RuPay cards in other countries.

Agenda 2023-24 includes upgrading the e-Kuber platform, designated as Critical Information Infrastructure (CII), to deliver functionality such as comprehensive real-time dashboards, enhanced user experience, scalability, flexibility, easier operations orchestration, and ease. For integration with external and internal systems, front-end enhancements to enhance productivity, robust controls, and an integrated security architecture platform.

Nextgen data center

In addition, the central bank has initiated a new next-generation data center construction project to address capacity expansion constraints, meet the needs of an ever-growing IT landscape, and avoid region-specific risks.

“Construction of the data center has commenced and will be in an advanced stage of completion in 2023-24,” the report said.

Other priority items include implementation of Payee Name Lookup in centralized payment systems, exploration of enabling real-time payee name validation prior to funds transfer, ongoing initiatives to enhance dissemination of accurate data on payment systems, and enhancement of RBI internal applications to reduce Accreditation. on manual and paper procedures.