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Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directs Banks not to levy Customer charges on transactions through Digital Payment Services up to March 31

RBI will review the framework for charges on electronic payment transactions in consultations with the stakeholders (banks)

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Mumbai, Dec 16, 2016: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday directed banks not to levy customer charges on transactions through digital payment services up to March 31, 2017.

“As a temporary measure, it has been decided that all banks and Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) issuers shall not levy charges on customers for transactions from January 1 to March 31, 2017,” said the central bank’s Chief General Manager Nanda S Dave in a statement.

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The measures apply for transactions on the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Services Data (USSD).

The exemption comes in the wake of the government demonetising the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8 and aming to provide incentives greater adoption of digital payments by large sections of society.

“In the intervening period, the RBI will facilitate a review of the charges under the payment channels by the stakeholders,” said Dave.

In a related development, the central bank has advised banks to cap the Merchant Discount Rates (MDR) for debit card transactions, including payments to the government.

“MDR shall be capped at 0.25 per cent for transactions up to Rs 1,000 and 0.5 per cent for transactions between Rs 1,000-2,000,” said Dave.

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The measures, however, shall not apply to ATM transactions and will be effective from January 1 to March 31, 2017.

“In the intervening period, the RBI will review the framework for charges on electronic payment transactions in consultations with the stakeholders (banks),” added Dave.

The RBI decision comes a day after the Union Government on Thursday decided to reimburse banks MDR charges on taxes and receipts paid through debit and credit cards in a bid to encourage digital transactions. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google adds support for hashtags on Maps for Android devices. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?