As the number of digital transactions rise significantly, there is a concomitant increase in the number of disputes and grievances. Recourse to technology-driven redressal mechanisms that are rule-based, transparent and involve minimum (or no) manual intervention is necessary to deal with them in a timely and effective manner. Accordingly, the Reserve Bank shall require Payment System Operators (PSOs) to introduce Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Systems in a phased manner. To begin with, authorised PSOs shall be required to implement ODR systems for failed transactions in their respective Payment Systems. Based on the experience gained, ODR arrangements will be extended to other types of disputes and grievances.
Minimum Requirements of the ODR System
1.1. These requirements apply to all authorised Payment Systems Operators (PSOs) – banks and non-banks – and their participating members [Payment System Participants (PSPs)].
2. Concept of the ODR system
2.1. The ODR system should be a transparent, rule-based, system-driven, user-friendly and unbiased mechanism for resolving customer disputes and grievances, with zero or minimal manual intervention.
3. Structure of the ODR system
3.1. Each PSO shall make available an ODR system for resolving disputes and grievances arising out of failed transactions and provide the participating PSPs an access to the system.
3.2. The PSO and its PSPs shall provide the customers an access for lodging the disputes and grievances relating to failed transactions, irrespective of such transactions being on-us or off-us in nature.
4. Types of transactions covered under the scope of the ODR system
4.1. To begin with, disputes and grievances relating to failed transactions shall be covered under the ODR system. The scope, thus, includes all transaction types mentioned in the RBI circular DPSS.CO.PD No.629/02.01.014/2019-20 dated September 20, 2019 on “Harmonisation of Turn Around Time (TAT) and customer compensation for failed transactions using authorised Payment Systems”.
4.2. All provisions, including those relating to TAT and compensation to customers mentioned in the above circular need to be adhered to while resolving disputes and grievances using the ODR system.
5. Lodging and tracking of disputes and grievances
5.1. Customers shall be provided with one or more channels – web-based or paper-based complaint form, IVR, mobile application, call centre, SMS, through branches or offices, etc. – for lodging disputes and grievances. As mentioned above, such facility shall be provided by the PSO as well as by the PSP (the issuer institutions with whom the customer has a relationship) with a mechanism to link / access the ODR system put in place by the PSO. The industry may progressively increase the variety of these channels.
5.2. In addition to the above channels, in case of mobile phone-based systems like Unified Payments Interface (UPI), third party app providers (TPAPs) shall also provide customers with a facility to lodge disputes and grievances through the same mobile app used for making payments, which shall be integrated with the ODR system.
5.3. The process of lodging the dispute or grievance shall be simple and involve only necessary minimum details. The ODR system should be made capable of automatically fetching full details based on the information provided by the customer. The aspect of data confidentiality shall specifically be taken care of while designing such parameters.
5.4. Once a customer has lodged the dispute or grievance, a unique reference number shall be allocated by the ODR system. Facility shall be provided to the customers for tracking the status of the dispute or grievance using this reference number.