Online payments and OTT applications have forayed into the mainstream life of people within a short span of its introduction. Particularly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide lockdown, there has been an exponential increase in the use of OTT applications and channels as it was the only viable means of entertainment at one point. As with the increase in usage of OTT platforms, so has been the integration of secure and seamless payment gateway solutions with the OTT applications, covering a wide range of payment options - debit/credit card, net banking, UPI, etc.

With an aim to fortify the security and safety of online payment transactions, the Reserve Bank of India has come out with a new mandate regarding auto-debit rules. These rules will inadvertently have an impact on how businesses, especially those in the video streaming and online payments sectors, will be able to adapt and integrate the change to ensure smooth and uninterrupted operations.

The challenge here for app developers would be to get their customers to obtain permits from their respective banks in auto debiting the subscription amount as a standing instruction every month. In other words, only with prior approval by customers with their banks can apps like Netflix, and Amazon Prime auto debit their subscription amount.

Why has this rule been introduced?

This rule is aimed at reducing instances of online payment fraud and protecting the interests of consumers. It strives to bolster security in the case of card payments and at the same time ensure there is no hindrance to convenience in transactions as well.

What do the rules mandate?

The rules mandate that all automatic payment transactions using debit or credit cards shall w.e.f 30th September 2021 shall have a cap of Rs. 5000. All transactions above the threshold limit of Rs. 5000, customers will have to authenticate the transaction once again to process the same.

What can OTT platforms do?

OTT platforms need to find a way to navigate this rule in a way that it does not affect their operations or customer patronage. So what can you, as an app developer or an OTT platform, do so as to adapt to this change seamlessly? Here are a few solutions available to you:

Annual Subscription

One way through which apps and OTT platforms can make use of this new rule is to bring about annual subscription plans for their services. Even though there are annual subscription plans in place for most of the OTT platforms at present, they can go one step further and bring attractive offers for availing annual subscriptions, introduce discounts and coupons, bring about different types of annual plans in every budget range, etc.


Another way in which apps and OTT platforms can adapt to the new RBI rules would be to introduce a wallet system built in the app through which subscribers can top up an amount that would automatically get deducted every month. This would help avoid unnecessary delay and cumbersome processes in getting bank’s approval every time and would also be of convenience to subscribers in the long run. Similar to the annual subscription plan, OTT platforms can also introduce attractive offers that would nudge subscribers to opt for this method of payment instead of having to enter in their card or payment details every time.

Adapting to changes and finding solutions, while at the same time ensuring customer convenience, is what keeps any company in business in the long run. In light of the newly introduced RBI auto debit rules, these are just some of the ways in which OTT platforms can continue running their operations with minimal or zero disruption to consumers.

For prospective OTT platform entrepreneurs, it is vital that they develop their app with all the sufficient features and modules that help adhere to such rules. In such a scenario, it is always advisable to connect with an app development company that stays on top of the latest technological and business trends and maintains their position ahead of the curve year after year. And that is where Zartek comes in. Connect with Zartek to meet all your OTT app development needs