Payment And Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS ACT, 2007)
News: RBI opposes move for independent Payments Regulatory Board.
Source: The Hindu
The PSS Act, 2007 received the assent of the President on 20th December 2007 and it came into force with effect from 12th August 2008.
The PSS Act, 2007 provides for the regulation and supervision of payment systems in India and designates the Reserve Bank of India (Reserve Bank) as the authority for that purpose and all related matters. The Reserve Bank is authorized under the Act to constitute a Committee of its Central Board known as the Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS), to exercise its powers and perform its functions and discharge its duties under this statute. The Act also provides the legal basis for “netting” and “settlement finality”. This is of great importance, as in India, other than the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system all other payment systems function on a net settlement basis.
Under the PSS Act, 2007, two Regulations have been made by the Reserve Bank of India, namely, the Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008 and the Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008. Both these Regulations came into force along with the PSS Act, 2007 on 12th August 2008.
The Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems Regulation, 2008 deals with the constitution of the Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS), a Committee of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. It also deals with the composition of the BPSS, its powers and functions, exercising of powers on behalf of BPSS, meetings of the BPSS and quorum, the constitution of Sub-Committees/Advisory Committees by BPSS, etc. The BPSS exercises the powers on behalf of the Reserve Bank, for regulation and supervision of the payment and settlement systems under the PSS Act, 2007.
The Payment and Settlement Systems Regulations, 2008 covers matters like form of application for authorization for commencing/ carrying on a payment system and grant of authorization, payment instructions and determination of standards of payment systems, furnishing of returns/documents/other information, furnishing of accounts and balance sheets by system provider etc.
Section 2(1) (i) of the PSS Act 2007 defines a payment system to mean a system that enables payment to be effected between a payer and a beneficiary, involving clearing, payment or settlement service or all of them, but does not include a stock exchange (Section 34 of the PSS Act 2007 states that its provisions will not apply to stock exchanges or clearing corporations set up under stock exchanges). It is further stated by way of an explanation that a “payment system” includes the systems enabling credit card operations, debit card operations, smart card operations, money transfer operations or similar operations.
All systems (except stock exchanges and clearing corporations set up under stock exchanges) carrying out either clearing or settlement or payment operations or all of them are regarded as payment systems. All entities operating such systems will be known as system providers. Also all entities operating money transfer systems or card payment systems or similar systems fall within the definition of a system provider. To decide whether a particular entity operates the payment system, it must perform either the clearing or settlement or payment function or all of them.