Centre for Payment Systems

Background

With the aim of providing fast, reliable and more secure techniques to move money between two parties, payment systems are undergoing rapid innovation. The ability to do so depends on establishing a synergy between multiple technical components such as computational hardware, software, communication channel, etc., to connect the payer and payee and finally a settlement platform.

With several payment solutions being developed and deployed everyday and given that payment and settlements is a regulatory issue, there is a felt need to understand the technology aspects and assess the relative merits and demerits of each payment system. The knowledge thus acquired can be disseminated to the banking community along with best practices. There is also a need to design and develop techniques to achieve a less cash-based society.

Centre for Payment Systems

Banks in India have begun to explore alternative payment techniques based on wallets and banking over social media in an attempt to cut down operating costs in terms of human resources and hardware costs incurred in the traditional payment methods.

In view of the criticality of payment systems technologies for the Indian Banking and Financial Sector, the Institute is setting up a Centre for Payment Systems. The Centre will serve as a test-bed on which banks can rapid prototype their payment ideas and test their payment solutions for security flaws.

The scope of the centre shall encompass development of various payment technology enablers, ranging from software platforms to carry transaction messages, customer-side dedicated hardware equipment to software entities and cryptographic protocols to ensure end-to-end security of the payment solution.

The Centre would also build capacity to study and evaluate security aspects of 3rd party payment solutions and also assist banks in deploying payment solutions. In addition to research and teaching, the scope of the centre is to explore and experiment cost-effective technological solutions for the payment industry through rapid prototyping.

Objectives

The CoPS will focus on the following short-term and long-term objectives

Short-term

  • Tap and go payment solutions
  • Cardless payment solutions as alternatives to ATM and PoS transactions
  • Solutions to facilitate low value face-to-face transactions without a centralized settlement system based on new and fast emerging cellular standards such as LTE Direct
  • Software based PoS solutions
  • Alternatives to PoS terminals
  • Middleware platform to carry and aggregate transactions.

Long-term

Conduct applied research on the following topics:

  • Cryptographic protocols for facilitating decentralized payment solutions for low-value transactions in a P2P environment
  • Last mile payment communication and hardware technologies to secure customer identity as well as facilitate trusted communication with both payment platforms as well as peer devices
  • Cryptography protocols for facilitating multi-hop transactions for use in banking contracts such as LCs and BGs.

The Centre for Payment Systems is expected to be in place shortly.