The Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank, has told financial institutions to put mobile-banking services on hold so financial authorities can create and issue guidelines for mobile transactions, a Reserve Bank spokesperson tells CardLine Global. "The guidelines on mobile banking are likely to be announced soon, and we have advised banks to put on hold their plans till then," the spokesperson says without specifying when authorities would finish the guidelines . "This is to ensure that mobile banking takes off in a sound and robust manner to benefit both the banks and their customers." The spokesperson declines to discuss any mobile-banking related complaints financial authorities may have received. Also unclear is whether the directive applies to mobile payments-transactions that go beyond simple banking services. Clear guidelines from the Reserve Bank could help spark interest in mobile banking and payment services, Prathima Rajan, an India-based analyst with United States-based research firm Celent LLC, tells CardLine Global. She adds that while some private Indian banks, along with some foreign banks operating in the country, have launched mobile banking for debit or credit alerts and balance checks, mobile payments has a smaller foothold. "Mobile payment is still in a nascent stage in India, but the fact that India constitutes around 261 million mobile subscribers makes it a potential market for such transactions in the future," Rajan says.

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