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November 2020

Conclusion : ODR System

While the proposed ODR system seems to be a hopeful path for “boosting digital payments and enhancing the broader financial ecosystem“, the issues that may arise out of it must not be overlooked: Firstly, the links between the various modes of lodging complaints must be analyzed, improper communications between the modes and the PSOs may create distortions and thus lead to ambiguities, which may have severe consequences.

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What Kind Of Transactions Are Covered Under This System?

Although the RBI specified in its notification that the system, for the time being, is limited only to disputes and grievances arising out of failed digital transactions, including those which have not been fully completed due to reasons unrelated to the customers (technical issues) such as failure in communication links, non-availability of cash in an ATM, time-out of sessions, etc. Apart from these, the system also includes those transactions whereby the amount has not been credited to the beneficiary’s account due to a lack of adequate information or delay in the initiation of a reversal transaction.

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Supreme Court Judgement on Refund of Airline Tickets

This is to bring to your kind attention that on 1st October, 2020, the Supreme Court of India delivered a judgement containing detailed guidelines with regard to the refund of airline tickets, both domestic and international, that stood cancelled due to the pandemic and the consequential lock down. The judgement of the Apex Court came in light of various writ petitions that were clubbed together because of the similarity of cause of action. It essentially lays down that for all cancelled travel due to the lockdown, full refund should be made by the airlines to the consumers within the stipulated time and manner as mentioned therein. If the respective airline cannot make such a refund, a credit shell of the same amount shall be given to the consumers within the stipulated time that shall be transferable at the instance of the consumer. The Court also established the validity of such a credit shell. The 3 Judge Bench, consisting of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice M. R. Shah, delivered an all inclusive judgement keeping the smallest details in mind while also drawing a balance between the loss suffered by individual consumers on one hand and by the airlines on the other. The interests of both the parties were considered practically and handled with great sensitivity. Attached herewith is the original and full judgement of the Apex Court of India for more details. Click Here for Full Judgement An Aware Consumer is a Protected Consumer.

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Objective and Structure Of ODR System For Digital Payments

The goal of the system is to provide a “transparent, rule-based, system-driven, user-driven, unbiased mechanism for resolving customer disputes and grievances, with zero or minimal manual intervention.” In other words, the main objective of this system is to enable a dispute resolution system that is not only transparent and unbiased but also provides redressal for consumer grievance with minimal or zero human intervention.

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Introduction : ODR (Online Dispute Resolution) system

As rightly said by Dave Chapelle “Modern Problems requires modern solutions”. The only good outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic was that the digital economy saw a global revolution. Preventive measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, etc., which limited the scope of human interactions (all of which were a result of the pandemic), led to most forms of trade and communication being shifted online thereby increasing an individual’s dependence on such digital transactions. Each transaction involves a cost which is fulfilled in the form of digital payment. While this can be treated as a great leap forward, such a change is not devoid of certain inevitable issues.

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