Framework For Geo Tagging of Payment System Touchpoints

By - Pooja Sirnapelly on May 2, 2022

Framework For Geo Tagging of Payment System Touchpoints

The Reserve Bank of India vides Circular No. RBI/2021-22/187 dated 25.03.2022[1] has described the importance of Framework For Geo Tagging of Payment System Touchpoints. It has mainly focused on providing inclusive access to digital payment systems to all citizens. To ensure this, a robust payment acceptance infrastructure with multiple types of touchpoints must exist across the length and breadth of the country. Capturing the location of the existing payment system touchpoints/acceptance infrastructure is essential to upscaling and chalking out intervention strategies. This requirement can be effectively facilitated by geo-tagging payment touchpoints.

Geotagging is the capture of the geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) of payment touchpoints deployed by merchants to take payments from their consumers. Geo-tagging provides several advantages, including the ability to provide data on regional digital payment adoption; monitor infrastructure density across different places; identify opportunities for deploying new payment touchpoints, and support targeted digital literacy programmes. Policy actions to realize the aforementioned advantages will be aided by the information gathered.

Customers that utilize payment touchpoints to make digital payments rely on two types of physical infrastructure:

  • Banking infrastructure includes bank branches, offices, extension counters, ATMs/Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs), Cash Recycler Machines (CRMs) and micro-ATMs used by Business Correspondents (BCs), and so on.
  • Payment acceptance infrastructure includes Points of Sale (PoS) terminals, Quick Response (QR) codes used by banks and non-bank Payment System Operators (PSOs), and so on.

The use of geotagging to capture acceptance infrastructure locational data would be subject to the two guidelines that say:

  • Banks and non-bank payment service providers must collect and preserve geographical coordinates for all payment touchpoints.
  • Geo-tagging data for the following items must be sent to the Reserve Bank in PoS terminals (Mobile PoS, Soft PoS, Tablet PoS, Desktop PoS, Self-service Kiosk PoS, Android-based PoS terminals, Non-Android-based PoS terminals with GPRS SIM Card-embedded, Non-Android-based PoS terminals with PSTN Line Connectivity, and so on) and Paper QR Codes/Soft QR Codes (Bharat QR, UPI QR, etc.).

The Reserve Bank of India has directed the Banks and Non-Bank PSOs to disclose the following information and procedures as under. It has also directed the Banks and Non-Banks PSOs to follow the templates as prescribed by the RBI.

Information to be submitted to RBI:

All banks and non-bank PSOs must keep a registry of all payment touchpoints in the nation, including the following information:

  • Merchant-related information – General merchant details (name, merchant ID, merchant type, merchant category, merchant contact information, merchant/payment aggregator information, and so on); specifics about the merchant's location (merchant address, state, district, revenue centre, the population of revenue centre, post office, pin code, population group, tier, etc.)
  • Payment acceptance infrastructure details – General payment touchpoint details (terminal type, sub-type, terminal ID, date of operation, operating status, etc.) and payment touchpoint location details (terminal address, state, district, revenue centre, the population of revenue centre, post office, pin code, geo-coordinates (latitude, longitude), population group, tier, etc.).

[1] https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Id=12260&Mode=0

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