The Reserve Bank of India has granted the licence to Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank to start payments bank in the country. Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank is a 51:49 joint venture between Aditya Birla Group-owned Aditya Birla Nuvo and Idea Cellular, respectively.
"This is to inform you that the Reserve Bank of India... has granted a licence to Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd to carry on the business of payments bank in India," Aditya Birla Nuvo said in a BSE filing on Wednesday.
According to media reports, Idea Cellular was planning to launch payments bank services through the Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank in the first half of 2017.
Idea Cellular is currently in the process of merging operations with Vodafone India. Notably, Vodafone India itself has an in-principal approval from the RBI to start payments bank. The ongoing merger with Idea could lead to Vodafone surrendering its payments bank's in-principle approval, according to reports.
RBI had announced a list of 11 entities which were given in-principle approval to set up banking operations within 18 months from August 19, 2015. Tech Mahindra, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company and a consortium of Dilip Shanghvi, IDFC Bank and Telenor Financial Services have since then backed out of the payments bank licensing.
Currently, Airtel and India Post are offering payments bank services in the country, while PayTm, Fino Paytech and NSDL have already applied for final clearance to start operations.
A Payments bank can accept deposits from individuals and small businesses up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account.