The Reserve Bank of India currently announced a foreign exchange trading platform’s scheduled rollout for retail customers. The platform, FX-Retail, is predicted to pave the way for higher pricing for foreign exchange transactions, even though a few problems want to be ironed out. Indians seeking to avoid paying hefty commissions while shopping for or promoting foreign currencies will possibly employ this upcoming platform as opposed to being compelled to approach foreign exchange sellers.

The modern framework

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) lets in any character to behave as a permitted dealer (AD) for the cause of dealing in forex, beneath Section 10(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. Currently, retail customers in India must buy or promote foreign exchange from an AD bank (the one’s branches that provide the facility) or forex sellers. AD banks have the liberty to decide their charges for numerous forms of foreign exchange transactions with the aid of distinctive features of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Dealers’ Association of India Rules – tenth edition. However, the equal regulations stipulate that the AD banks ought to follow the RBI’s guidelines and ensure that purchasers with fewer forex transactions are not adversely impacted.

A ‘charged’ problem

Retail customers currently do no longer have direct get entry to forex markets. Purchase and sale of foreign exchange are routed via AD banks and foreign exchange sellers. Both price a rate for every transaction. The magnitude of these expenses has been a prime source of problems for retail customers. For example, retail users generally pay a top class of just about 2 in step with cent while shopping for foreign money and are charged two consistent with cent of the quantity as cut-price, even selling overseas foreign money to AD banks.


The AD banks enjoy a huge range in solving the fees for transactions. Such prices can broadly vary from market prices, putting retail users at a drawback. Typically, customers who deal in forex regularly and in large volumes enjoy more negotiating powers with the AD banks. This offers an upward push to questions on transparency in solving prices and holding a stage-gambling field among market contributors.

RBI’s push for buying and selling platform

The RBI launched a ‘dialogue paper’ in October 2017 that proposed introducing a forex trading platform for retail members. The paper categorized the forex marketplace into segments: inter-bank and retail. Two feasible options had been recognized to inspire transparent pricing in forex markets. First, through “mandating a cap on spreads charged over the inter-financial institution prices by banks to their retail customers.” Second, “facilitate(ing) price determination of retail patron transactions in the marketplace by supplying them directly get entry to to the forex market.”

The RBI paper desired the second option as it supplied a ‘market-based answer’ to decide to price in forex markets. An inter-financial institution digital trading platform turned into proposed to be created with the aid of the Clearing Corporation of India Limited (CCIL). This mechanism is predicted to enhance transparency in pricing by fostering competition while decreasing the fee of transactions and dangers for AD banks.

Last week, the RBI issued a round announcing that the trading platform, FX-Retail, turned into prepared to be rolled out. Retail customers can check-in at the portal from 1 July and start foreign exchange transactions from five August with the following alternatives for the delivery of their overseas currencies: ‘cash basis’ (equal day); ‘tom foundation’ (subsequent day); or ‘spot basis’ ( days after the date of transaction). Like the RBI’s discussion paper, the RBI circular too provided AD banks the freedom to levy fees to fulfill their administrative expenses while mandating that such costs be publicly declared on a trading platform, which is now FX-Retail.