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Legal Framework in India for Payment Gateway

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: Jan 19, 2018 | Category: Prepaid Wallet License

Legal Framework

Legal Framework in India for Payment Gateway

The Basic &Primary Act governing pre-paid instruments in India is Payment & Settlements Act, 2007. The provisions of Master Direction will apply to Prepaid Payment Instruments issuers, system providers & technology participants.

Master Directions shall be therefore called as the Reserve Bank of India (Issue & Operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Directions, 2017.

  • These directions shall be effective from Oct 11, 2017.
  • Existing issuers shall ensure compliance with the relevant regulations on or before February 28, 2018.

These directions lay down the legal framework & criteria for holding & issuance of Semi closed & open prepaid payment instruments in the country.

Authorization of RBI in this regard is a Prerequisite.

Henceforth, PAYMENTS & SETTLEMENTS ACT, 2007 provides for an illustrative framework for approval of E-wallets & digital prepaid mechanism.

Following Legislations Should Be Kept In Mind before Going Forward With Approval of a Payment Gateway

  • Section 4 of Payment & Settlements Act, 2007 under Reserve Bank of India guidelines needs to be complied with
  • The application is to be made in Form A under Regulation 3(2) under Payment & Settlement System Regulations, 2008 with prescribed enclosures & annexure to Department of Payment & Settlements Systems (DPSS), RBI, and Mumbai.
  • All the AML, KYC& CFT Norms need to be completed before setting up any payment interface for ensuring transparency & accuracy.
  • Ensuring complete authorization of RBI norms in this regard.
  • Compliance with Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 & Anti Financial Terrorism Norms so that any access to Black Money through such instruments can be foreseen.
  • Filing of STR’s Suspicious Transaction Reports to Financial Intelligence Unit – India

How to Start One’s Own Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is a merchant service provider through an E-commerce platform for processing & furtherance of Debit & Credit Card Payments affected by the masses, business houses & other concerned.

It is responsible for quick, safe transfer of funds from buyer to seller.

This data is secured on a server or database which is kept confidential & only persists between buyer, seller & concerned bank. Pre-requisites for this are:

  • Creation of a Merchant Account for transactions pertaining to buyer & sellers.
  • Setting up of Payment gateway from where the payments shall be effected.
  • The building of own software product & alignment with a variety of financial institutions for the creation of Wallet.
  • Obtaining necessary certifications.

It is an auto-checkout mechanism in order to effect transactional payments for web-based merchants. All the major payment gateways support all sorts of payment facilities for closing the transaction.

Company

A). Best way to start a Payment Gateway or aggregator service is to register it as a Private Limited Company under Indian Companies Act, 2013.

  • The Company Registration must have a minimum paid-up share capital of 5 Crore & minimum positive net worth of 1 Crore at all times.

  • Even BANKS are permitted to issue the same in all categories.

B). Application of PAN Card, GST Registration No. & opening of Current Bank Account of the Company.

C). Compliance with the standards of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for the security of credit information.

D). Application for license or merchant service provider or payment facilitator with Banks; depending upon the credibility & financial soundness of applicant, Banks shall grant the approval for payment alignment.

Alternatively, in case of Internet banking, an aggregator license is what is required from individual banks which is a tedious process.

E). Once the licenses are in custody and approvals are sorted one can start with operations.

F). Overall Cost for installation of a Payment Aggregator anywhere is between 30 Lacks to 1 Crore depending upon the capital adequacy.

Back then the topic of Payment Gateway was in its infancy, but due to a revolution in E-Commerce & Digital Wallet facility, it has phenomenally taken the markets with storm & still the unused capacity needs to get tapped.

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Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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