Labelling Ombudsman as the Talisman for digital payments’ users is justifiable in a way that it is a rescue for those end users that are not able to get their issues resolved from their respective service providers. Be it a failure to effect online payment or fund transfer, a failure to refund the money in case of a failed transaction or any similar payment related grievance, now there is an Ombudsman to take things in its control and resolve it all. Even the complaints for Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), Bharat QR code and UPI QR Code are to be also looked into by Ombudsman for Digital transactions.
The Need for Ombudsman
In the recent past, number of complaints relating to digital transactions kept rising with RBI and there were numerous such queries that gathered as digital transactions grew over a period. According to RBI, the number of complaints related to digital transactions in terms of banking reached as high as 28%, as of June 2018, of the total number of grievances with RBI. Central bank has recorded complaints relating to the digital mode of financial transactions as only 19% during the financial year ended March 2017.
Mainly, separate Ombudsman was required to help the customers/clients making digital transactions get speedy justice. Being one of the few countries having ombudsman for digital transactions, India aims to build a stronger grip over digital transactions and make its economy cash less. To provide citizens of the country with the maximum benefits, ombudsman is a positive addition to the ecosystem.
According to the scheme, the digital payments’ domain covered under the same is required to:
- Display prominently in all the offices and branches the internal customer grievance/redressal framework, along with the contact details of the designated nodal officer to look into the customer complaints/grievances.
- Ensure the purpose of the scheme and the contact details of the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions to whom the complaints can be made by the aggrieved party clearly visible. This is to be done so that the person visiting the office of branch gets adequate information of the scheme.
- Ensure that a copy of the scheme be available with the designated officer of the entity covered under the same for perusal. It is also needed to place a copy of the scheme on their websites/ mobile applications and update the same on a regular basis.
- Appoint nodal officers at their regional/zonal offices and inform the respective office of the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions under whose jurisdiction the regional/zonal office falls.
Speculations/Expectations with Ombudsman
With Digital India initiative followed by various incentives for pushing digital payments forward, there was an urgent need for addressing to several problems faced by the users of the digital payments.
Soon after the ombudsman scheme was launched, various speculations with regard to the digital payments’ further success are being surfaced. This is possible with the grievances/redressals of the clients taken seriously, and getting solved much faster than before.
- Expected to boost customer confidence
Ombudsman is expected to boost customer confidence by addressing to the customer’s grievances/redressal on an immediate basis. The ombudsman scheme is launched to look through customer’s those problems which used to be neglected or be delayed in getting relevant responses for earlier.
- Expected to help India become more digitally inclined
Ombudsman is expected to help India become even more digitally inclined since it is an extremely great help to those who deal in digital payments on a daily basis. Be it the customers or the businesses (payer or payee), the need of the hour was to strengthen both with a body that could bring constructive solutions to their issues.
- May transform the economy to being cash-less from less-cash
Over a period, economy is expected to grow from being less-cash to a cash-less one with the scheme that is launched to look into the matters of digital payments’ users affirmatively. It is expected that the success of this scheme will not only help digital payments’ users from several glitches, but also will move the economy forward. The entire ecosystem, with this scheme, is speculated to become more and more in favour of cash-less transactions (digital transactions) in the economy, which is the end aim of the government.
- Help to entrepreneurs, especially Women entrepreneurs
Ombudsman scheme is being looked upon as that impactful move that can positively help entrepreneurs scale their businesses up. Thus, this move is also expected to help “Make in India” movement by pulling down the digital payments related issues on an everyday basis. This can be made possible with the provisioning of quick solutions to the businesses functioning with online platform as the medium of receiving money. In addition, it is a big help to those women entrepreneurs who are bounded by social and familial obligations and find digital payments’ platform as the most suited for receiving payments. It is expected to contribute to their success since one of the aspects of their success depends on smooth flow of payments. With ombudsman scheme, women entrepreneurs are expected to not be left stuck since their issues with payments will be positively looked into and, are expected to be settled on an immediate basis.
- Apparently, procedure of making and receiving payments are expected to become even easier with an ombudsman to settle down the issues associated with it.
With the wave of Digital India having made making and receiving payments an ease for masses, certain issues also emerged simultaneously over a period. These issues comprised of day-to-day transactions’ related troubles that would take lot of time to be sorted and settled. Now with the ombudsman scheme being active, these day-to-day troubles are expected to be settled rapidly. Hence, dealing in payments on an everyday basis is expected to get easier with smooth functioning of digital transactions.