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Ombudsman for Digital Transactions

Ombudsman for Digital Transactions

Ombudsman for Digital Transactions

The Reserve Bank of India has implemented the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions (OSDT) in continuation of the Monetary Policy Statement released in 2018. The Scheme was launched under the Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 and it was enforced from January 31, 2019.

Vision of Ombudsman Scheme

  • The Scheme was introduced with an objective to provide cost-free and swift complaint redressal for deficiency in terms of customer services offered in digital transactions conducted through RBI regulated non-bank entities.
  • The primary aim behind this move of RBI is to reduce the instances of fraud and to ensure customer trust in terms of digital payments.
  • OSDT also witnesses a quantum leap in digital transactions and monitors it along with nullifying the threats present in it.

Ombudsman for the Scheme

  • The Ombudsman for the Digital Transactions is a senior official appointed by the RBI in order to redress the complaints made by the customers against the system participants.
  • These are defined in the Scheme for depriving certain services which are covered under the grounds of complaint which is specified under Clause 8 of the Scheme.
  • As of the last modified date February 16, 2019, every state capital comprises of Ombudsmen to manage Digital Transactions, and there exists a count of 21 offices throughout the country.
  • Further details about the contact details and addresses offices of Ombudsman for Digital Transactions can be accessed from below:

Address-Area-of-Ombudsmen

Grounds of Complaints

According to Clause 8 of the Scheme, Complaints will be registered only on violating any of the following instructions made by the Government.

Prepaid Payments/ Mobile Fund Transfer

1. Failure in crediting the amount to the merchant’s account within the stipulated time frame.
2. Delay in loading funds within a reasonable time in wallets or cards.
3. Making unauthorized or illegal fund transfer.
4. Failing to reverse the amount debited from customer’s account in cases of failed payment transactions within the prescribed timeline.
5. These instructions as mentioned earlier are also applicable for fund transfers done through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) / Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)
6. Non-adherence to the other instructions passed by the Reserve Bank of India on Prepaid Payments.

NOTE: In terms of digital transactions accomplished in third-party platforms, resolving the customer disputes arising out of transactions is also the responsibility of the corresponding Payment service provider.

Filing of a Complaint

  • Once the customer faces difficulty in during the process of digital transaction, the complainant should initially approach the System Participant concerned.
  • In case, there is no appropriate response given for the complaint made, even after a time period of one month then, the customer may file a complaint with the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions.
  • This complaint should be made in the Ombudsman office, within whose jurisdiction the branch of corresponding system participant is located.
  • For complaints regarding the services offered by centralized operations, complaint filing may be done in the Office of Ombudsman within whose territorial jurisdiction the billing/declared address of the customer is located in.
  • The complaint may be filed with the Ombudsman by drafting a detailed complaint on a sheet of paper and sending it to the concerned Office of the Ombudsman by Post/Fax/Hand Delivery. This Complaint-filing process may also be done through E-mail.
  • An official complaint form is also made available although it isn’t mandatory to follow this format. Copy of complaint form is reproduced below:

Form-of-Complaint

NOTE: Filing a complaint at the Office of Ombudsman for Digital Transactions does not involve any cost.

Complaint Denial

In some instances, the complaint made to the Ombudsman of Digital Transaction may not be considered. They are enlisted as follows,
1.If the corresponding system participant against whom the complaint is registered does not fall under the Scheme.
2.If the complainant has not approached the system participant concerned in prior about the difficulty faced.
3. If the complaint made does not pertain to the grounds of allegations stated under Clause 8 of the Scheme.
4.If the complaint is made after one year of the date of receipt or if it is made after the expiry period of limitation prescribed under the Limitation Act, 1963 for such claims.
5. Finally, if the complaint pertains to the dispute arising from the transaction between two customers then again, it is denied.

Compensations Offered

  • The compensation amount if any, will be offered by the Ombudsman for any loss suffered by the complainant.
  • This amount is limited to the act or commission of the System Participant but, the compensation shall be above the disputed amount.
  • In cases where the customer has suffered mental agony or harassment, the Ombudsman may award a compensation amount ranging upto INR 0.1 million (INR 1 Lakh).
  • While this compensation is provided, the loss of time and expenses incurred by the complainant along with mental anguish and harassment suffered by the complainant is taken into consideration.

Final Recourse

  • If either the payment service provider or the customer is dissatisfied with the Ombudsman’s decision, then they can approach the Deputy Governor of RBI for further measures.
  • It is possible for the deputy governor to extend the limit by another 30 days if he/she is convinced that the Complainant holds a valid reason for not meeting the deadline.
  • If the measures mentioned above also fail, the customer may approach the court or the consumer forums for final resolution.

For further details about Banking Ombudsman click here.

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