What are the types of an e-wallet and how many amount of money can be kept in those e-wallets?

As per the Reserve Bank of India, there are three kinds of e-wallets in India: closed, semi-closed and open.

  • Closed e-wallets: These are wallets issued by an entity for facilitating the purchase of goods and services from it. These instruments do not permit cash withdrawal or redemption. Hence, RBI approval is not required for issuing them.
    E.g. Cab services, e-commerce and mobile companies create e-wallets for making payments towards purchase of products from them /for usage of their services. They provide cash backs for payments made through this channel. This is one way of ensuring loyalty of their customers.
  • Semi-Closed e-wallets: These are wallets which can be used for purchase of goods and services, including financial services at merchant locations/ establishments which have a specific contract with the issuer to accept them. These wallets do not permit cash withdrawal or redemption by the holder.
    Wallets for amounts upto Rs.10,000/- can be created under this category by accepting minimum details of the customer and the total value of reloads during any given month also does not exceed Rs. 10,000/-.
    Amount upto Rs.50,000/- can be created in wallets by accepting any ‘officially valid document’ which is compliant with anti-money laundering rules. Such wallets are non-reloadable in nature i.e. Money cannot be put in these wallets beyond 10000Rs. Under a normal circumstance.
    Amount upto Rs.1,00,000/- can be created by with full KYC and can be reloaded.
    E.g. AirTel Money, which is used for making payments for a range of services like money transfer from Airtel Money to another bank account or any other Airtel Money Wallet or paying select utility bills.
  • Open e-wallets: These are wallets which can be used for purchase of goods and services, including financial services like funds transfer at any card accepting merchant locations [point of sale (POS) terminals] and also permit cash withdrawal at ATMs / Banking Correspondents (BCs). However, cash withdrawal at POS is permitted only upto a limit of Rs.1000/- per day subject to the same conditions as applicable to debit_cards (for cash withdrawal at POS).
    E.g. M-Pesa is an open wallet run by Vodafone in partnership with ICICI Bank. Axis Bank’s e-Wallet Card’, can used for making payments on sites that accept Visa cards, with a minimum limit of Rs 10, and a maximum limit of Rs 50,000, and a validity of 48 hours.

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