Payment aggregation has revolutionized the way businesses accept payments online. With the rise of e-commerce and globalization, cross-border transactions have become increasingly common. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the concept of payment aggregation specifically in the context of cross-border transactions. We will delve into the key aspects, requirements, and regulations surrounding payment aggregator cross border (PA-CB) operations.

What is a Payment Aggregator?

A payment aggregator, also known as a merchant aggregator, is a third-party service provider that enables merchants to accept payments from customers by integrating payment options into their websites or apps. It simplifies the payment process by consolidating different payment sources and methods into a single platform, making it convenient for businesses and customers alike.

Payment aggregators facilitate various types of payment transactions, including cash, cheques, online payments through multiple sources, or offline touchpoints. They eliminate the need for merchants to set up individual merchant accounts with multiple banks by allowing them to accept bank transfers without direct bank integration.

In India, payment aggregators are incorporated under the Companies Act of 2013 and can be either banks or non-bank entities. However, non-bank payment aggregators require unique authorization from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) due to their involvement in handling funds. On the other hand, bank payment aggregators are considered to be part of normal banking relationships and do not require separate authorization.

Understanding Payment Aggregator Cross Border (PA-CB)

Payment Aggregator Cross Border (PA-CB) refers specifically to the facilitation of cross-border online payments for the import and export of permissible goods and services. The RBI has set certain criteria and regulations for entities engaged in PA-CB activities to ensure compliance and accountability.

The RBI categorizes PA-CB activities into three main categories: export-only PA-CB, import-only PA-CB, and export and import PA-CB. Each category has its own specific requirements and guidelines.

Key Requirements for Payment Aggregator Cross Border (PA-CB) Operations

PA-CBs must adhere to specific guidelines and compliance requirements set by the RBI. Let's explore some of the key requirements for PA-CB operations:

  1. Net Worth Requirement: PA-CBs must maintain a minimum net worth as per the RBI's regulations. Existing non-bank PA-CBs should have a minimum net worth of INR 15 crore at the time of applying for authorization. New non-bank PA-CBs should maintain a minimum net worth of INR 15 crore at the time of application and increase it to INR 25 crore by the end of the third financial year after receiving authorization.
  2. Import and Export Accounts: Import-only PA-CBs must maintain an Import Collection Account (ICA) with an AD Category-I scheduled commercial bank. Payments for import transactions collected from customers are received in an escrow account of the PA, and then transferred to the ICA for onward settlement to the offshore merchants.
    Similarly, export-only PA-CBs need to maintain an Export Collection Account (ECA) with an AD Category-I scheduled commercial bank. The ECA can be denominated in either Indian Rupees (INR) or foreign currency.
  3. Customer Due Diligence and KYC: PA-CBs are required to undertake customer due diligence and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures for merchants onboarded onto their platforms. This includes direct onboarding of merchants, collaborating with e-commerce marketplaces, or engaging entities providing PA services abroad. Additionally, for import transactions exceeding INR 2,50,000 per unit, due diligence of the buyer is also mandatory.
  4. Payment Instruments: PA-CBs can process payments for import and export transactions using any payment instrument authorized by the RBI, except for small prepaid payment instruments (PPIs).
  5. Registration with Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND): All non-bank PA-CBs must register themselves with the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) before seeking authorization from the RBI.
  6. Foreign Trade Compliance: PA-CBs must ensure that payment transactions facilitated through their platforms do not involve the import or export of restricted or prohibited goods and services, as per the prevailing Foreign Trade Policy.
  7. Separate Accounts for Domestic and PA-CB Activities: Entities involved in both domestic PA and PA-CB activities must keep their Import Collection Account (ICA) and Export Collection Account (ECA) separate from the escrow account used for domestic PA activities.
  8. Transaction Limits: PA-CBs are permitted to process payments for import or export transactions up to a maximum limit of INR 25,00,000 per unit of goods or services.

These are just some of the key requirements and guidelines for PA-CB operations. It is essential for PA-CBs to comply with all relevant regulations and guidelines set by the RBI to ensure smooth cross-border payment facilitation.

Benefits and Impact of Payment Aggregator Cross Border (PA-CB)

PA-CB operations have several benefits and can significantly impact the ease of cross-border transactions. Here are some of the key benefits and impacts of PA-CB:

  1. Simplified Cross-Border Payments: PA-CBs streamline the complex process of cross-border payments by providing a unified platform for merchants and customers to transact seamlessly.
  2. Cost-Effective Solution: PA-CBs eliminate the need for individual merchant accounts with multiple banks, reducing operational costs for businesses.
  3. Enhanced Security: PA-CBs prioritize security and compliance by implementing robust security measures and ensuring adherence to KYC and anti-money laundering regulations.
  4. Expanded Market Reach: PA-CB enables merchants to reach global customers by accepting payments in multiple currencies and facilitating cross-border transactions.
  5. Efficient Settlement Process: PA-CBs provide efficient settlement processes, ensuring timely payment transfers between buyers and sellers.
  6. Regulatory Compliance: By operating within the guidelines set by the RBI, PA-CBs contribute to maintaining a secure and compliant payment ecosystem.
  7. Promotion of International Trade: PA-CBs play a crucial role in promoting international trade by facilitating smooth and secure cross-border transactions, benefiting both importers and exporters.

The implementation of PA-CB operations has had a significant impact on cross-border transactions, promoting seamless global trade and enhancing the overall efficiency of payment processes.


Payment Aggregator Cross Border (PA-CB) operations have revolutionized the way businesses handle cross-border transactions. By providing a consolidated platform for merchants and customers to transact seamlessly, PA-CBs have simplified the complex process of cross-border payments.

It is crucial for entities engaged in PA-CB activities to comply with the regulations and guidelines set by the RBI to ensure secure and compliant operations. From maintaining the minimum net worth requirement to conducting customer due diligence and KYC procedures, adherence to these guidelines is essential for the smooth functioning of PA-CB operations.

PA-CBs play a pivotal role in promoting international trade, expanding market reach, and enhancing the efficiency of cross-border transactions. By streamlining payment processes and prioritizing security, PA-CBs contribute to the growth and development of businesses in the global marketplace.

As cross-border transactions continue to grow in prominence, payment aggregators will play an increasingly vital role in facilitating seamless and secure payment experiences for businesses and customers worldwide.