December 04, 2014
The Chairman and Managing Director / Chief Executive Officers
All Scheduled Commercial Banks including RRBs /
Urban Co-operative Banks / State Co-operative Banks /
District Central Co-operative Banks
Madam /Dear Sir
Mobile Banking Transactions in India – Operative Guidelines for Banks
A reference is invited to our Master Circular RBI/ 2014-15/104 DPSS.CO.PD. Mobile Banking.No.2/02.23.001/2014-15 dated July 1, 2014 wherein consolidated guidelines related to mobile banking were issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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
8. 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.
9. This directive is issued under Section 10(2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).
10. Please acknowledge receipt.
Principal Chief General Manager
Suggestions / best practices for increasing the penetration (customer registration / on-boarding) of Mobile Banking
1. New Customer: at account opening time
2. Existing Customer- Mobile numbers registered with the bank but not active for mobile banking:
As mobile number registration has already taken place and available with the bank (is linked with the account), wider and more accessible platforms should also be made use of by the banks to increase awareness on mobile banking at every opportunity to get more and more customers to register for mobile banking services. Some of the methods that can be adopted by banks for having targeted customer awareness programs could include:
sending SMS / e-mails to their customers on registered mobile numbers / e-mail ids about activating mobile banking, providing necessary URLs / customer care numbers from which the customer can obtain additional information on mobile banking activation process;
ATMs and self-service Kiosks at branches can also alert the customers to activate the mobile banking options;
social media can also be used by the banks to build awareness and encourage customers to register on mobile banking;
through the internet banking website of the bank especially when the customer logs in for net banking operations (taking into account the security architecture and authentication mechanism already prevalent in the bank/s);
banks can use their IVR and phone banking channels to encourage and facilitate registration and activation of customers for mobile banking;
banks can also harness the potential of inter-operable channels such as the NFS (which is widely used by customers for transacting with their cards) to provide a widely accessible channel for mobile banking registration;
3. Existing Customer- Mobile number not registered with the bank at all
Banks need to find ways of obtaining mobile numbers of the account holders first for registration in their database and subsequently for mobile banking registration. Some of the options that can be used for this purpose are:
At BC level with biometric authentication.