Indian mobile operators feature strongly among ‘payments bank’ license winners
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Bidders linked to the country’s top three operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular – as well as newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm and Telenor were among eleven winners of payments bank licences in India.
The government hopes the banks will provide basic financial services to users who are currently outside the banking sector. The target market is small businesses, low income households, farmers and migrant workers.
Payments banks are allowed to take deposits and transfer payments for users but they cannot lend funds.
The RBI said it selected applicants “with experience in different sectors and with different capabilities so that different models could be tried”. All the successful applicants have the reach, tech knowhow and financial strength to embrace those groups who are currently excluded from the financial system, said the reserve bank.