SBI and UNI Global Union Urge RBI to Discard Digital Payments Plan


The All India State Bank of India(SBI) Staff Federation along with the UNI Global Union, a vocal critic of tech giants have urged the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to restrict large companies from setting up payment networks, stating in a letter seen by Reuters that privatisation could compromise data safety.

To reduce concentration risks in the payments sector, RBI last year invited companies to forge so-called New Umbrella Entities (NUEs) to create a payments network that would rival the country’s flagship pocessor, the National Payments Council of India (NPCI).The NUE will be allowed to operate new payment systems including digital and ATM transactions.

Amazon, Google, Facebook and others have applied for such licences in partnership with Indian companies such as Reliance and ICICI Bank. However, SBI Staff Federation and the UNI Global Union, through a letter opposed the decision, stating involvement of big multi-national companies raises fears of abuse of user data.

The letter urged RBI to scrap the “whole process of NUE licensing” and focus on strengthening the domestic payments group, NPCI, which operates as a non-profit, as India’s digital payment networks should continue to operate on a non-profit basis.

The RBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, which has previously not been reported.


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