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How to File a Complaint Against Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI)?


What Is PPI?

Prepaid payment instruments abbreviated as PPI are those forms of payments that come with a preloaded value of money in them and in some cases an already defined purpose of the said payment. They make the system of purchasing and selling goods easy. All these payment instruments are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. Recently there has been a rise in money-related transactions through the various digital medium and prepaid payment instruments are a form of these. The best examples of PPI are gift cards of various brands E-wallets like MobiKwik, Paytm, phone pe, etc. Prepaid payment instruments are not restricted to just using one entity. They have a variety of purposes and functions. You can use them to sell and purchase anything or even any service. They are being rapidly used to transfer money to anyone in the world with a single click. There are three types of  Prepaid Payment Instruments – closed system PPIs,  semi-closed system PPIs, and open system PPIs.

The Ombudsman Scheme For Digital Services

The Reserve Bank of India introduced the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital transactions in 2019. The aim of this scheme is to provide an efficient complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the customer services in digital transactions including Prepaid Payment Instruments. A senior official called the Ombudsman for Digital transactions will be appointed by the Reserve Bank of India for or addressing complaints of customers against ‘System Participants’ including PPIs as defined in the scheme. All the grievances raised by customers for Digital transactions will be dressed free of cost by the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions. The Economic Times quoted RBI in their article on the Ombudsman scheme, “With the digital mode for financial transactions gaining traction in the country, there is an emerging need for a dedicated, cost-free and expeditious grievance redressal mechanism for strengthening consumer confidence in this channel.” 

Things to keep in mind before filing a complaint

The first step before filing a complaint against prepaid payment instruments is to first approach the system participant concerned.  If they do not reply within a set period of one month after receiving your complaint or in other circumstances reject the complaint or if you are not completely satisfied with the reply,  you can file a complaint with the Ombudsman for Digital transactions. It is important that the system that participates against whom the complaint is being registered should be covered under the said scheme.  it is also important that you approach the system participant concerned before you approach the Ombudsman. Also if you have already submitted a complaint against the system participant in any other office, the Ombudsman For Digital transactions will not accept your complaint.

How to file your complaint against Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI)?

You can easily file a complaint with the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions by giving an application on plain paper and then sending it to the concerned office of your district or area.  if you do not wish to send your complaint against the Prepaid Payment Instrument to writing you can always opt to file an online complaint through email to the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions. A complaint form with the required details is easily available on the official website of the Reserve Bank of India. You will have to submit a complaint with the office of the Ombudsman for Digital transactions within whose jurisdiction the concerned branch of the accused system participant is located. According to the official website of The Reserve Bank of India, there are some details that are required in your complaint application against the said Prepaid Payment Instrument. These are the name and the address of the complainant, the name and the address of the office of the system participant, the facts giving rise to the complaint with the required documents, the nature of the loss caused to the complainant,  the relief sought and the declaration that the complaint is maintained under clause 9(3) of the Ombudsman scheme for digital transactions. After a complaint is successfully lodged and received by the Ombudsman, a proper settlement between the complainant and the system participant will be tried to achieve. Further, if you are not satisfied with the decision you can approach a higher authority that is the office of the Deputy Governor in charge of RBI’s Ombudsman department. Then, the appellate authority might pass any further order or even dismiss the appeal regarding the Prepaid Payment Instrument.

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