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‘Lightweight’ payments system

Facts For Prelims:

Source: Indian Express


Context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has conceptualised a lightweight payment and settlements system, which can be operated from anywhere by a bare minimum staff in exigencies such as natural calamities or war.

  • The infrastructure for this system will be independent of the technologies that underlie the existing systems of payments such as UPI, NEFT, and RTGS.


Difference between UPI and lightweight system:

  • The key difference lies in the resilience and availability of the two systems.
  • UPI and other conventional systems prioritize handling large transaction volumes and require a stable and robust infrastructure.
  • On the other hand, the lightweight system is designed to operate even in volatile and extreme conditions when regular payment systems may not be accessible.



  • Such a system could ensure near-zero downtime of the payment and settlement system in the country and keep the liquidity pipeline of the economy alive and intact by facilitating the uninterrupted functioning of essential payments.
  • By implementing a lightweight system as a backup, the RBI aims to ensure that individuals and institutions can continue to make payments during emergencies or disruptions to the conventional payment infrastructure.
  • It serves as a precautionary measure to be prepared for extreme situations and maintain the continuity of financial transactions.