With mobile payments and remittance already a reality at a few Indian banks – and at least two reportedly in the “final stages’ of m-banking launches – the Reserve Bank of India decided last week that banks need to hold off and in some cases, according to reports, yank back their m-payments services until the central bank finalizes guidelines on such operations.
The RBI (which regulates India’s financial industry) issued its edict that essentially halts mobile payments until the RBI finalizes guidelines against money laundering and other potential fault lines.
According to India’s Business Standard, those guidelines could be in place as early as August, but the issuance of the proposed guidelines comes after a “few” banks have already moved ahead. Those early birds did not include YES Bank, whose internal trial of mobile money transfer with US-based P2P mobile remittance pioneer Obopay was unaffected. Aditya Menon, the CIO of Obopay India headquartered out of Bangalore, says the remittance service is “ready to go” for its public launch once the RBI issues the final guidelines.