Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions
Under the Ombudsman scheme for Digital Transactions, the Reserve Bank may appoint one or more of its officers in the rank of Chief General Manager or General Manager to be known as Ombudsman for Digital Transactions to carry out the functions entrusted to them by or under the Scheme. The appointment of Ombudsman for Digital Transactions under the above Clause may be made for a period not exceeding three years at a time. The Ombudsman for Digital Transactions shall receive and consider complaints relating to deficiency in services on the grounds mentioned hereunder irrespective of the pecuniary value. He/ She shall, to the satisfaction of the parties involved, dispose of the complaint through:
- Settlement by agreement between parties; or
- Conciliation and mediation between parties; or
- Passing an Award as per the provisions of the Scheme
Grounds of Complaint
Any person may file a complaint free of cost with the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions having jurisdiction on any one of the following grounds alleging deficiency in service:
1. Prepaid Payment Instruments: Non-adherence to the instructions of Reserve Bank by System Participants about Prepaid Payment Instruments on any of the following:
- Failure in crediting merchant’s account within reasonable time;
- Failure to load funds within reasonable time in wallets / cards;
- Unauthorized electronic fund transfer;
- Non-Transfer / Refusal to transfer/ failure to transfer within reasonable time, the balance in the Prepaid Payment Instruments to the holder’s ‘own’ bank account or back to source at the time of closure, expiry of validity period etc., of the Prepaid Payment Instrument;
- Failure to refund within reasonable time / refusal to refund in case of unsuccessful / returned / rejected / cancelled / transactions;
- Non-credit / delay in crediting the account of the Prepaid Payment Instrument holder as per the terms and conditions of the promotion offer(s) from time to time, if any;
- Non-adherence to any other instruction of the Reserve Bank on Prepaid Payment Instruments.
2. Mobile / Electronic Fund Transfers: Non-adherence to the instructions of the Reserve Bank on Mobile / Electronic fund transfers by System Participants on any of the following:
- Failure to effect online payment / fund transfer within reasonable time;
- Unauthorized electronic fund transfer;
- Failure to act upon stop-payment instructions within the time frame and under the circumstances notified to the customers within prescribed timeline;
- Failure to reverse the amount debited from customer account in cases of failed payment transactions within prescribed timeline;
- Non-adherence to any other instruction of the Reserve Bank on Mobile / Electronic fund transfers.
3. Non-adherence to instructions of Reserve Bank / respective System Provider to System Participants, on payment transactions through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) / Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) / Bharat QR Code / UPI QR Code on the following grounds:
- Failure in crediting funds to the beneficiaries’ account;
- Failure to return within reasonable time the payment to the originating member in case of failure to credit the funds to the beneficiary’s account;
- Failure to / delay in refund of money back to account in case of transaction failure or declined transactions (i.e. failed transactions);
- Non-adherence to any other instruction of the Reserve Bank on payment transactions / through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) / Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)/ Bharat QR Code / UPI QR Code.
4. Non-reversal / failure to reverse within reasonable time, funds wrongly transferred to the beneficiary account due to lapse at the end of System Participant.
5. Any other matter relating to the violation of the directives including on fees / charges, if any, issued by the Reserve Bank in relation to digital transactions.
Procedure for Filing Complaint
1. Any person who has a grievance on any one or more of the grounds mentioned in the Scheme may, himself or through his authorised representative (other than an advocate), make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions within whose jurisdiction the branch or office of the System Participant complained against is located. Provided that a complaint arising out of services with centralized operations, shall be filed before the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions within whose territorial jurisdiction the billing / declared address of the customer is located.
2. (a) The complaint in writing shall be duly signed by the complainant or his authorized representative and shall be, as far as possible, in the specified form or as near as thereto as circumstances admit, stating clearly:
- The name and the address of the complainant;
- The name and address of the branch or office of the System Participant against which the complaint is made;
- The facts giving rise to the complaint;
- The nature and extent of the loss caused to the complainant; and
- The relief sought for
(b) The complainant shall file along with the complaint, copies of the documents, if any, which he / she proposes to rely upon.
(c) A complaint made through electronic means may be accepted by the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions.
(d) The Ombudsman for Digital Transactions may also entertain complaints covered under this Scheme received by Central Government or Reserve Bank and forwarded to the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions for disposal.
3. No complaint to the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions shall lie unless:
(a) The complainant had, before making a complaint to the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions,
- made a written representation to the System Participant who had rejected the complaint, or,
- the complainant had not received any reply within a period of one month after the System Participant received her/his representation, or,
- the complainant is not satisfied with the reply given to her/him by the System Participant;
(b) The complaint is made not later than one year after the complainant has received the reply of the System Participant to her/ his representation or, where no reply is received, not later than one year and one month after the date of the representation to the System Participant;
(c) In exceptional circumstances as decided by the Ombudsman, the complaint is made before the expiry of the period of limitation prescribed under the Indian Limitation Act, 1963 for such claims.
(d) The complaint is not in respect of the same cause of action which was settled or dealt with on merits by the Ombudsman for Digital Transactions in any previous proceedings, whether or not, received from the same complainant or along with one or more complainants or one or more of the parties concerned with the cause of action;
(e) The complaint does not pertain to the same cause of action, for which any proceedings before any court, tribunal or arbitrator or any other forum is pending or a Decree or Award or Order has been passed by any such Court, Tribunal, Arbitrator or Forum;
(f) The complaint is not frivolous or vexatious in nature;
(g) The complaint does not fall under the disputes covered under Section 24 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007; and
(h) The complaint does not pertain to disputes arising from a transaction between customers.