News: No pre-paid paper meal vouchers from 2018: RBI

Compensation & Benefits

No pre-paid paper meal vouchers from 2018: RBI

According to the new circular by the RBI, all the meal vouchers shall be in the electronic form, including cards and they should be reloadable
No pre-paid paper meal vouchers from 2018: RBI

Now, organizations need to digitally transfer all the prepaid meal vouchers. According to the new RBI guidelines to banks and non-bank entities, no paper meal vouchers will be valid post December 2017 under B2B arrangements. Usually a paper meal voucher is valid till 6 months from the date of issuance. So according to the circular, if paper meal vouchers are to be suspended, then HR of all organizations must take proactive measures from June/July 2017. 

These prepaid vouchers must be in the electronic form, including cards and should be reloadable. Digital meal vouchers will allow companies and also the HR to seamlessly automate the cumbersome employee reimbursements like food, travel and medical expenses quickly and easily with the wallet. This will save precious time, effort and enhance efficiency of usage among both corporates and employees in addition to giving them more choice of outlets and reducing pilferage. 

"The new Master Direction is a step forward in making India Digital. The guidelines will ensure the overall strengthening of the system. We are excited about it. To move to electronic meal vouchers has been a communicated in the past too. But this new direction will now remove any ambiguities. The discontinuation of paper-based meal vouchers serves a broader interest to the country by eliminating the existence of an anonymous parallel currency,” said Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Co-Founder at Zeta.

The RBI guidelines are as follows: 

Banks and non-bank entities shall be permitted to issue prepaid meal instruments under B2B arrangements subject to following conditions:

  1. Such PPIs shall be issued only in electronic form, including cards, and are reloadable.

  2. Entities presently issuing meal vouchers under B2B arrangements in paper voucher form shall commence issuance of such PPIs in electronic form, including cards, at the earliest, but not later than December 31, 2017. Prepaid meal instruments in paper voucher form shall not be accepted beyond December 31, 2017.

  3. PPI Issuers shall enter into arrangements only with employers whose due diligence has been completed.

  4. Such PPIs shall be loaded / reloaded only from the funds deployed by the employers (for instance, from their bank account) with suitable authorization to the PPI Issuers to credit the PPIs of the employees.

  5. PPI issuers shall obtain and maintain the details of employees (name, address, gender, employee identification etc.) as obtained from the employers, to whom such PPIs are being issued and funds are loaded/reloaded.

  6. The minimum validity of the prepaid meal instruments shall be one year from the date of loading. Existing paper vouchers shall not be valid beyond December 31, 2017.

  7. Maximum value in such PPIs at any point of time shall not exceed Rs.1,00,000/-.

  8. Cash withdrawal or fund transfer shall not be permitted for such instruments. 


Zeta has an Optima Meal Vouchers - an electronic offering that adheres to RBI and Income Tax laws.  “A digital solution demands far higher accuracy, transparency, a very different customer support approach and a solid security model. We have built systems that uniquely meet those requirements. Over 600 customers have trusted Zeta Optima and we are future ready,” said Bhavin.

Mobikwik has redefined HR reimbursements by launching ReMP’ Employee Reimbursement Management Product. Organisations can save precious time and cost by automating employee reimbursements like food, travel and medical expenses with the omnipresent MobiKwik wallet.

 Vineet K Singh, Chief Business Officer at MobiKwik said, “Mobikwik is redefining the way all of us can efficiently use and track our daily reimbursements. ReMP is a win-win feature for both employees and corporates as this saves admin cost and processing time for the organisation and at the same time enables employees to efficiently manage the usage of their reimbursements since they need not carry an extra card or paper voucher as their smartphone doubles up as their wallet."

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits

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