The government on Wednesday instructed public sector banks to lower charges on Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) transaction of over Rs 1,000 in its latest bid to push digital transactions.
The state-run banks have been asked to keep IMPS and UPI charges in line with those for National Electronic Fund Transfer, where RBI allows fee of Rs 2.50 for transfers of up to Rs 10,000. For transactions above Rs 2 lakh the fee is pegged at Rs 25.
For USSD transactions above Rs 1,000, the ministry has asked banks to offer a further discount of 50 paise. USSD is mobile short code message and used mainly for banking services on feature phone. While the fee is Rs 1.50, it has been waived till December 30, 2016 due to demonetisation. The new transaction fees are going to be applicable till the end of March.
The latest move from the government, which is confined to state-run players, has drawn criticism as the finance ministry is seen to be driving decisions in these banks instead of leaving it to their boards. The government, however, is of the view that the move is meant to benefit consumers.
IMPS is an inter-bank electronic instant mobile money transfer service through mobile phones. Similarly, the recently-launched UPI app enables customers to make online as well as offline payment to merchants from their bank accounts, without typing card or net banking/wallet details and IFSC code.