The Reserve Bank has issued guidelines according to which banks and other entities will be able to issue pre-paid vouchers like mobile vouchers and wallets up to Rs 50,000, which can be used to purchase goods and withdraw cash from ATMs.
The operating guidelines on pre-paid payment vouchers issued by the RBI stated, "Maximum value of any pre-paid instruments (wherein specific limits have not been prescribed) shall not exceed Rs 50,000".
The validity period for these pre-paid instruments, such as smart cards, magnetic strip cards, Internet accounts, mobile accounts, mobile wallets and prepaid vouchers among others, will be of six months.
The central bank pointed out banks and NBFCs, which fulfill with the capital adequacy requirements and other entities having a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 1 crore, will be allowed to issue such vouchers.
The value stored in these vouchers will represent the amount paid by the holder either in cash or through the debit/credit cards.
Earlier in the annual monetary policy for 2009-10 RBI Governor D Subbarao had informed about the operating guidelines.
Subbarao had pointed out, "It is now proposed to permit SCB (scheduled commercial banks), which comply with eligibility criteria, to issue all categories of prepaid instruments”.