Interoperable AA Ecosystem shall have the following participants (Participants):

(a) Financial Information Providers (FIP) – any entity that is registered with a Financial Sector Regulator and/or approved by the Financial Sector Regulator to be a provider of financial information;

(b) Financial Information Users (FIU) – any entity that is registered with a Financial Sector Regulator and regulated by such Financial Sector Regulator to be a consumer of the financial information; and 

(c) Account Aggregators (AA) – any non-banking financial company that has been registered with the RBI to undertake the business of an account aggregator as defined in the AA Master Directions (as defined below).

Sahamati has adopted a three-pronged approach for dispute resolution:

a. Sahamati encourages its members, the Participants in the Interoperable AA Ecosystem, to institute automated dispute resolution, as far as practicable and as soon as possible. This takes cue and inspiration from the Reserve Bank of India’s directive on online dispute resolution for digital paymentsTo the extent that issues, concerns or complaints can be addressed in an automated manner, to the satisfaction of the customer of the AA, and drawing on information which may be required from the AA, the FIPs or the FIUs, would represent the best approach for resolution of such issues. 

b. All the Participants in the Interoperable AA Ecosystem are governed by financial sector regulators, viz. the Reserve Bank of India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, and the Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority. 

c. The Participants follow the norms as laid down by their respective regulators, if any and as applicable, to the role, responsibilities and duties, including for addressing any issues, concerns, complaints or grievances as raised by customers arising therefrom. 

Such grievance redressal measures are: 

  • Nodal officers / Internal grievance redressal officer / internal ombudsman [see list of grievance redressal officers of AAs]
  • Appeal or reference to the Banking Ombudsman / NBFC Ombudsman / Insurance Ombudsman (as applicable)  
  • Further appeal, as per the Ombudsman scheme specified by the regulators

Sahamati accordingly requires adherence to the above norms by the Participants. Accordingly, if the outcome of the automated dispute resolution process is not to the satisfaction of the customer, the above grievance redress mechanisms can be harnessed. 

c. If any Participant, for any reason whatsoever, is not subjected to any regulatory norms regarding addressing issues, concerns, complaints or grievances, and the outcome of the automated dispute resolution process is not the satisfaction of the customer, Sahamati specifies the following approach: 

Such Participants should institute:

  •  Internal grievance redressal officer / internal ombudsman who can be approached for resolution of the issues, concerns, complaints or grievances
  • If the Customer is not satisfied by with the determination made by such officer / internal ombudsman, then the matter would be referred to an ODR Institution, as empaneled by Sahamati
  • The ODR institution will provide online mediation as the first level of resolution process
  • If the mediation process is not acceptable or no resolution can be arrived at, then the ODR institution shall provide online arbitration as means of resolution. Outcome of arbitration is binding on all parties. 

d.  Finally, it is possible that the Participants within the AA Ecosystem themselves may have issues, concerns or disputes with each other. Sahamati recommends the Participants to resolve such disputes by utilizing the ODR institutions as empaneled. 

Accordingly, for dispute resolution involving two or more Participants:

  • The ODR institution will provide online mediation as the first level of resolution process
  • If the mediation process is not acceptable or no resolution can be arrived at, then the ODR institution shall provide online arbitration as means of resolution. Outcome of arbitration is binding on all parties. 

e. The text of the clause governing grievance redressal and dispute resolution is set forth in the Annex,

Sahamati empanelment norms for ODR Institutions are accessible here, Interested and eligible ODR institutions can apply at odr-empanelment@sahamati.org.in on or before September 30, 2021 for the initial round of empanelment. Further rounds of empanelment will be notified from time to time.

The list of empanelled ODR institutions will be accessible here.

Annex

14. Grievance Redressal & Dispute Resolution 

Grievance Redressal

14.1 Customer complaints, claims, disputes or grievances (together termed ‘grievance/s’) involving factual matters capable of being ascertained as fully or partially valid (or not) in an automated mode or manner by checking the relevant records of the concerned Participant/s, shall be so ascertained, and the accepting or rejecting such grievance/s (fully or partially) shall be duly notified to the claimant or the aggrieved person on so being ascertained. Where the grievance/s has been accepted as fully or partially valid, the Participant will undertake due measures to redress the grievance or make payment of the specified compensation to the claimant or the aggrieved person. Sahamati shall identify and notify from time to time the types of grievance/s which shall be attended to in this manner, and the appropriate amount, level or range compensation that shall be payable by the relevant Participant when a grievance/s has been ascertained to be fully or partially valid.

14.2 Customer grievances that are unresolved by the automated mode specified in 14.1, or if the Customer is not satisfied with the resolution provided through the automated mode specified in 14.1, or which arise before the automated mode becomes effective for specified types of grievances as envisaged in 14.1, shall be addressed in the following manner and sequence:

(a) by placing the grievance for redress by the Grievance Redressal Officer of the Participant, as applicable, and/or the Internal Ombudsman of the Participant (if any), whose determination will be binding on the Participant.

(b) If the Customer is not satisfied by the determination made by the Grievance Redressal Officer or the Internal Ombudsman of the Participant, as applicable, and subject to the applicability of the respective Ombudsman Scheme specified by a Financial Sector Regulator governing the Participant, or appeal process, if any specified in Applicable Laws to deal with the matter, the grievance or appeal in relation to the determination shall be referred to an ODR Institution, empanelled by Sahamati from time to time, which shall facilitate online mediation or online conciliation.

The ODR Institution shall accordingly appoint a mediator or a conciliator, in accordance with its mediation or conciliation rules and the process shall be administered in accordance with such mediation or conciliation rules.

If such mediation or conciliation is unsuccessful in resolving the grievance as well as if the Customer is not satisfied with the determination made in terms of the Ombudsman Scheme or the appeal process as laid down, if applicable, then the grievance or appeal in relation to the determination shall be referred to an ODR Institution, empanelled by Sahamati from time to time, which shall appoint an independent sole arbitrator, in accordance with its arbitration rules to adjudicate the grievance.

The grievance shall be resolved by means of arbitration in terms of the applicable rules of the ODR Institution, and in accordance with the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Such a process shall be conducted (including for recording of evidence or tendering of documents), concluded and administered online by the ODR Institution through its website/platform or its mobile application, and the determination made by such process shall be binding on such Customer and the Participant. The seat of arbitration proceedings shall be the city and state where Sahamati is headquartered. The procedural law of arbitration shall be the rules of the ODR Institution.

Sahamati will also explore the possibility of creating APIs for ease of reference of grievances to ODR Institutions as envisaged in this section.

Dispute Resolution

14.3 Any complaints, claims, disputes or grievances (together termed ‘dispute’) arising out of or in connection with these Terms between two or more Participants shall be referred to an ODR Institution, empanelled by Sahamati from time to time, which shall facilitate online mediation or online conciliation. The ODR Institution shall accordingly appoint a mediator or a conciliator, appointed in accordance with the applicable mediation or conciliation rules of the ODR Institution for such dispute. The process shall be administered in accordance with the applicable mediation or conciliation rules of the ODR Institution.

If such mediation or conciliation is unsuccessful in resolving the dispute, then the ODR Institution shall appoint an independent sole arbitrator, in accordance with the applicable arbitration rules of the ODR Institution, to adjudicate the dispute.

The dispute shall be resolved by means of arbitration in terms of the applicable rules of the ODR Institution, and in accordance with the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Such a process shall be conducted (including for recording of evidence or tendering of documents), concluded and administered online by the ODR Institution through its website/platform or its mobile application, and the determination made by such process shall be binding on such Participants. The seat of arbitration proceedings shall be the city and state where Sahamati is headquartered. The procedural law of arbitration shall be the rules of the ODR Institution.

If you have any feedback/suggestions to give for our ODR approach please contact us.