NEW DELHI: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will audit the financial inclusion (FI) technology platform of all banks after it was discovered that 80 per cent of interbank transactions failed for accounts opened under the government’s Jan Dhan scheme.
“During a review it came to notice that the FI switch of some banks was not working, leading to such a high failure rate,” said a NPCI official, who did not wish to be named. The government has also asked NPCI to look into the issue as it looks to push various social sector schemes through the Jan Dhan, the government’s flagship scheme for financial inclusion rolled out across India to take banking facilities to the poorest.
“We are in discussion with banks to work out the issues. Also an audit is being done to ascertain which banks are lagging,” said the NPCI official quoted above, adding that in some cases, including that of country’s largest bank State Bank of India, the failure rate has been brought down considerably.
“The aim is to bring this failure rate to as low as 20 per cent,” he said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that the next phase of the financial inclusion scheme will be focused on mobilisation of financial savings to reverse the decline in the savings rate.
According to latest government data, there are 1.25 lakh bank mitras, operating 1.05 lakh hand-held machines. In a week, at least 54,000 machines are active, which means they make at least one transaction. Most of these transactions either happen on the Aadhaar Enable Payment System (AEPS) or Rupay Card.
AEPS is a bank-led model which allows online interoperable financial inclusion transaction at any point of sale, through the business correspondent of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication.
“The whole idea is that a customer should be able to transact irrespective of which bank device the bank mitra operates on. Since this was not happening, we have decided to do an audit,” the above quoted NPCI official said.
Another official said that loading of other social security schemes including direct benefit of transfer will only work if the inter-operability issue is resolved. “You have to provide customers cash-in and cash-out points. This will also provide more business to bank mitras and make them viable,” he said. “Banks will be asked to ensure that their systems are able to deal with high volume and low ticket size payments and the performance matches with real time payment channels like ATMs.”