RBI issues guidelines for Mobile banking

As banks have started offering mobile banking services at different points of time, there are differences in procedures adopted by banks for registering customers for mobile banking as well as in the channels of delivery and authentication process.

Dec 05, 2014 04:12 IST India Infoline News Service

Reserve Bank of India has issued guidelines related to mobile banking.It may be recalled that the RBI had set up a "Technical Committee on Mobile Banking" (Chairman Shri B.Sambamurthy) to study the challenges faced by the banks in providing mobile banking to customers in general (customer enrolment and technical issues) and also to examine the options/alternatives for expanding the reach of mobile banking in the country. In order to take these recommendations forward, the RBI had organized a conference to discuss the issues / challenges faced by banks and lay down a concrete roadmap for enhancing mobile banking services in India. 
Subsequently, an informal group was also formed with representation from various stakeholders for "Setting standards for on-boarding mobile banking customers by banks', which has made some critical observations and also offered certain suggestions for enhancing the efforts of banks and stakeholders in widening the access to mobile banking service.
As banks have started offering mobile banking services at different points of time, there are differences in procedures adopted by banks for registering customers for mobile banking as well as in the channels of delivery and authentication process. Generally, banks are offering mobile banking services through the SMS, Application-based solutions and USSD channels. Lack of awareness as well as standardization of procedures at banks also adds to the problems which have led to a situation of slow pick-up of mobile banking services despite the high mobile density in the country. This is of particular importance when customers are using inter-operable mobile banking platforms.
Thus, there is a need for greater degree of standardization in procedures relating to on-boarding of customers for mobile banking (new customers, existing account holders whose mobile numbers are available with the bank but not registered for mobile banking, and existing account holders where mobile number is not available with the bank), as also the subsequent processes for authentication, including accessible options for generation of MPIN by customers.
Banks should strive to provide options for easy registration for mobile banking services to their customers, through multiple channels, thus minimizing the need for the customer to visit the branch for such services. The time taken between registration of customers for mobile banking services and activation of the service should also be minimal.
A few suggestions and best practices that can be adopted by banks for registering / on-boarding customers for mobile banking, under the three scenarios indicated above, are given in the Annex.
Similarly, in order to quicken the process of MPIN generation and also widen the accessibility of this process to their mobile banking registered customers, banks can consider adopting various channels / methods such as
Through the ATM channels (similar to option available for change of PIN on their own ATMs as well as in inter-operable ATM networks)
Through an option provided in the USSD menu for mobile banking (both their own USSD platform, if any, as well as under the inter-operable USSD Platform for mobile banking)
Banks' own internet banking website, with necessary safeguards
Use of MPIN mailers (like PIN mailers for cards)
Common website can also be designed as an industry initiative
Banks are also advised to undertake customer education and awareness programme in multiple languages through different channels of communication to popularise their process of mobile banking registration/activation and its usage etc.

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