RBI permits banks to issue RuPay Prepaid Forex cards

In order to expand payment options for Indians traveling abroad, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday decided to allow the issuance of RuPay prepaid forex cards by banks in India for use at ATMs, POS machines and online merchants abroad.

Moreover, RuPay debit, credit and prepaid cards will be enabled for issuance in foreign jurisdictions, which can be used internationally, including in India, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said, while revealing the second fortnightly monetary policy of this fiscal.

“These actions will expand the reach and acceptance of RuPay cards globally,” he said while issuing the statement of developmental and regulatory policies.

The decision comes in light of RuPay debit and credit cards issued by banks in India gaining international acceptance through bilateral arrangements with international partners and co-branding arrangements with international card schemes.

He also said that the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an anytime, anywhere bill payment platform that has been in operation since August 2017.

“Currently, BBPS has involved over 20,500 invoices and processes over 9.8 crore transactions each month. The scope of BBPS was further expanded in December 2022 to cover all categories of payments and collections, whether recurring or non-recurring in nature, as well as facilitating internal bill payments via the border “.

To enhance the efficiency of the system and to encourage more participation, he said, the process flow and membership criteria for onboarding operating units in BBPS will be streamlined.

Regarding e-RUPI digital vouchers, he said it is now proposed to expand the range and reach of e-RUPI vouchers by allowing issuers of non-bank prepaid payment instrument (PPI) to issue e-RUPI vouchers; enable the issuance of e-RUPI vouchers on behalf of individuals; And simplify the process of issuing, redeeming, etc.

He said these measures will make the benefits of eRUPI digital voucher accessible to a larger group of users and increase the penetration of digital payments in the country.

Developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the e-RUPI digital prepaid voucher was launched in August 2021 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a purpose-built, person-based cashless voucher with a cap of Rs 10,000 and an individual-time redemption facility.

Last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) increased the limit on prepaid digital vouchers for e-RUPI to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 10,000 and allowed them to be used multiple times to facilitate digital delivery of various government schemes to beneficiaries.

The e-RUPI is basically a digital voucher that the beneficiary gets on his phone in the form of an SMS or a QR code. It is a prepaid voucher, which he/she can go and redeem at any center that accepts it.

This is a contactless and cashless voucher-based payment method that helps users redeem voucher without a card, apply digital payments or access online banking services.