18 December 2013

Telecom Services for Mobile Banking

Government in April 2010 had accepted the framework proposed by an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) for delivery of basic financial services using mobile phones. 

The IMG framework envisaged the opening of mobile linked ‘no frills’ accounts, which would be operated using mobile phones. 

Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was requested to ensure that telecom services of adequate quality are provided for mobile banking at reasonable charges. 

After a consultation process with various stakeholders, which inter-alia include banking sector, TRAI through 56th Amendment to TTO 1999 dated 26.11.2013 has prescribed a ceiling of Rs. 1.50 for an outgoing Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) session for USSD based mobile banking service. 

This order will become effective from 01.01.2014. The service providers will collect the charges from their subscribers for providing USSD channel to deliver mobile banking services. 

TRAI has already issued the Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) (Amendment) Regulations in April 2012 laying down quality of standards for use of SMS, USSD and Interactive Voice response (IVR) for mobile banking services. 

TRAI through an amendment issued to Mobile Banking (Quality of Service) Regulations on 26.11.2013 mandated that every access service provider should facilitate not only the banks but also the authorized agents of the banks to use the SMS, USSD and IVR channels to provide mobile banking services to the bank’s customers. 

All the Orders and Regulations issued by TRAI are placed on TRAI’s website for compliance and information of the stakeholders and a corresponding press release is also issued by TRAI. 

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