CBDT asks banks to refund charges collected after January 1 for digital transactions
New Delhi: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on Sunday (August 30) said that banks can not levy any extra charge on transactions made through electronic modes. The new rule is applicable from January 1, 2020. “… based on section 10A of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007, any charge including the MDR (Merchant Discount Rate) shall not be applicable on or after 1st January, 2020 on payment made through prescribed electronic modes,” CBDT said in a statement.
The regulator said that it has received several representations that said banks are charging an additional fee on transactions made through UPI. A certain number of transactions are allowed free of charge beyond which every transaction bears a charge.
“Representations have been received that some banks are imposing and collecting charges on transactions carried out through UPI. A certain number of transactions are allowed free of charge beyond which every transaction bears a charge. Such practice on part of banks is a breach of section 10A of the PSS Act as well as section 269SU of the IT Act. Such breach attracts penal provisions under section 271 DB of the IT Act as well as section 26 of the PSS Act,” the statement said.
The electronics modes of transactions include:
- Debit card powered by RuPay,
- Unified Payment Interface (UPI),
- Unified Payment Interface Quick Response code (UPI QR code), BHIM UPI QR code.
Further banks have been advised to immediately refund the charges collected, if any, on or after January 1, 2020, on transactions carried out using the electronic modes prescribed under section 269SU of the IT Act and not to impose charges on any future transactions carried through the said prescribed modes.
According to a report by The Times of India, most private banks are charging Rs 2.5 to Rs 5 on person-to-person payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) more than 20 times a month.
The report further said that the use of UPI has been growing by 8 per cent month on month basis during the lockdown. The projections estimate UPI transactions to go up to Rs 160 crore in August as compared to 80 crore in April 2019.