B P Kanungo: Excellence in payments

Keynote address by Mr B P Kanungo, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, at the NPCI National Payments Excellence Awards function, Mumbai, 29 May 2018.
Central bank speech  | 
05 June 2018

Shri B. Mahapatra, Chairman, NPCI, Shri Dilip Asbe, MD, NPCI, distinguished guests, fellow bankers, captains of the industry and the Honourable members of the Jury – it gives me great pleasure to be amidst you all as NPCI today recognises the significant work done by the innovators in payment systems of the country. Let me begin with a quote by Robin Sharma, the motivational speaker, who says ‘Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results’. No one can disagree with him. This is most applicable to the area of payment systems in India which has got international recognition. Giant strides taken by India in respect of payment and settlement systems and the retail payment space stand out prominently. The role played by NPCI in this regard is immense and it is only befitting that the awards instituted by them reflect the importance ascribed towards innovations in payment systems.

Retail payment systems in India : the Background

1. Thrust on digitisation of payment systems in India have had a relatively recent origin. The NPCI, envisioned as an umbrella organisation for retail payment systems in the country, was set-up with the guidance and support of the Reserve Bank and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) in December 2008.

2. The Payments Systems Vision Document 2005–08 of Reserve Bank had envisaged a new institutional structure for Retail Payment Systems, preferably owned by banks and other financial institutions, with the objective of a) optimally using the resources through consolidation of existing infrastructure and building new infrastructure to enable national reach in a seamless manner; and b) creating a robust technology platform which provides service of the highest quality to customers at affordable price. Accordingly, in the year 2009, the NPCI started its role as a payment system provider by operating the ATM network when IDRBT handed over to it the National Financial Switch (NFS). Thereafter, the RBI requisitioned the NPCI to operate the Cheque Truncation System (CTS) on its behalf.