New Delhi: Trai on Tuesday fixed a time limit of 10 seconds for telecom service providers to deliver banking transaction-related messages to customers.
   
"Every Access Provider, acting as bearer, shall facilitate the banks to use SMS, USSD and IVR to provide banking services to its customers and deliver the message generated by the bank or the customer within the time frame specified...," said Mobile Banking (Quality Of Service) Regulations, 2012 issued by Trai.
   
The regulation asks Telecom Service Providers (TSP) to deliver the message generated by the bank or the customer within specified time frame under new regulation which is less than equal to 10 seconds for SMS, IVR, WAP, STK (a technology built in SIM card) and 2 seconds for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
   
"These time frames are for the first delivery attempt," the regulations said.

The regulations have been issued following recommendation of Inter-Ministerial Group on delivery of financial services through mobile phone that asked Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to draw up guidelines to ensure high availability of associated communication services.
   
Under the new regulations, TSP have been asked to facilitate banks with SMS, USSD and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) service for providing banking services to its customers.
   
USSD messages are generally used by companies to inform user when they finish calls.
   
"Being a financial transaction the consumer would like to receive confirmation of the outcome of the transaction at the earliest," Trai said.

The Telecom Service Provider (TSP) may allow bank to use Wireless Application Protocol and SIM Application Tool Kit technology to provide banking services to its customers, said the new regulation. In those cases, it will have abide by time limit set by Trai.
   
The regulations said that in the case of SMS is not delivered to customer due to related issues or network related issues, it mandates company to send USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) communication to the customer confirming the completion of transaction.
   
In case of SMS delivery failure, the error code received from the SMSC can be used by the system in the back-end to trigger an USSD towards the customer.
   
Since USSD messages cannot be stored, the regulation said that expiry time for SMS will be a minimum of 72 hours.
   
The regulations also said that customer should be able to complete a transaction in not more than two-stage transmission of message.
   
Also, any message triggered through a consumer action for mobile banking services shall be updated in the system on a real-time basis, the regulations said.

(Agencies)