RBI Grants License Approvals For 11 Payment Banks

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    The Reserve Bank of India today decided to grant "in-principle" approval to the following 11 applicants to set up payments banks under the Guidelines for Licensing of Payments Banks issued on November 27, 2014 (Guidelines).

    RBI Grants License Approvals For 11 Payment Banks
    1) Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited
     

    2) Airtel M Commerce Services Limited

    3) Cholamandalam Distribution Services Limited

    4) Department of Posts

    5) Fino PayTech Limited

    6) National Securities Depository Limited

    7) Reliance Industries Limited

    8) Shri Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi

    9) Shri Vijay Shekhar Sharma

    10) Tech Mahindra Limited

    11) Vodafone m-pesa Limited

    Selection process

    The process for selecting the applicants has been as follows:

    First, a detailed scrutiny was undertaken by an External Advisory Committee (EAC) under the Chairmanship of Dr. Nachiket Mor, Director, Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India.

    The recommendations of the EAC were an input to an Internal Screening Committee (ISC), consisting of the Governor and the four Deputy Governors.

    This Internal Screening Committee prepared a final list of recommendations for the Committee of the Central Board (CCB), after independently scrutinising all the applications. At its meeting on August 19, 2015, the CCB went through the applications, informed by the recommendations of the EAC and the ISC, and approved the announced list of applicants.

    In arriving at the final list, the CCB noted that it would be difficult at this stage to forecast the most successful likely model in the emerging business of payments. The CCB further noted that payments banks cannot undertake lending, and therefore believed that the payments bank would not be subject to the same risks as a full service bank.

    Therefore, the CCB evaluated applicants to assess whether there would be unacceptable risk even to the narrower functions of a payments bank.

    It has selected entities with experience in different sectors and with different capabilities so that different models could be tried.

     

    It did ensure that all the selected applicants have the reach and the technological and financial strength to service hitherto excluded customers across the country. Nevertheless, the in-principle approvals are subject to the condition {(15 (v)} in the guidelines, including any developments in on-going cases.

    Going forward, the Reserve Bank intends to use the learning from this licensing round to appropriately revise the Guidelines and move to giving licences more regularly, that is, virtually "on tap". The Reserve Bank believes that some of the entities who did not qualify in this round, could well be successful in future rounds.

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