SBI Union and others ask RBI not to permit payment platform by corporates

Amazon, payment platform, reserve bank of india, sbi union, RBI, NUE

An employee union of the country’s largest lender SBI in association with a global alliance on Tuesday asked the Reserve Bank not to allow large corporates to set up payment networks as it could lead to compromise on data safety. A coalition of labour unions and NGOs led by UNI Global Union, All India State Bank of India Staff Federation (AISBISF), IT for Change and the Joint Action Committee Against Foreign Retail and E-commerce’ (JACAFRE) demanded that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reject Amazon‘s application to set up a new “fee rich” for-profit payment system.

“Amazon as an entity goes contrary to the principles of equity and fairness, and it is being investigated for its unfair, abusive, and anti-competitive conducts in several jurisdictions, including in India,” the coalition alleged in a letter submitted to the RBI.

The RBI is the country’s central bank and regulatory body, and its New Umbrella Entity (NUE) would permit companies to develop and operate alternate payment systems other than what is operated by the non-profit National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), it said.

The for-profit NUE system proposed by the RBI intends to set a stage for competitors to the current non-profit system by promoting private players to operate alternate for-profit payment systems, it added.

In a bid to reduce concentration risks in the payments sector, RBI last year invited companies to forge New Umbrella Entities (NUEs) to create a payments network as a competitor the only processor NPCI public sector and private sector banks.

“We will like the Reserve Bank of India not to give up essential and infrastructural tasks related to currency, finance and banking to corporate entities, for them to run such essential infrastructure for profit, and entrenching their corporate power,” AISBISF general secretary Sanjeev Bandlish said in a statement.

NPCI and UPI are doing good work under RBI’s close regulation and monitoring and we are fully opposed to opening up parallel for–profits systems which would not be in the public interest, he added.

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