Vodafone India has also applied for payments bank licence with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The company is exploring options for partnerships for the proposed banking venture. The Payment banks would be allowed payments and remittance services through various channels. However, such lenders, cannot issue credit cards or undertake lending activities.
“Vodafone has filed an application with Reserve Banka of India (RBI) for the Payments Bank licence. We are exploring options for partnerships,” said Vodafone spokesperson.“We are keen and remain highly committed to building a Financially Inclusive business model leveraging our Telco strengths and experience in the mobile payments space, fully aligned with the Government and RBI’s vision,” the company said in a statement.
RBI said that it has received 72 applications for small finance banks and 41 applications for payments banks up to the deadline for submission yesterday.
The small finance bank will primarily undertake basic banking activities of acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and under-served sections.
A few top Indian companies, including Reliance Industries Ltd., Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited, Bharti Airtel and Future Group have applied to the RBI for payments bank licences.
On November 27, 2014, the RBI had issued guidelines for licencing of payments bank, earlier extended the last date for submission of applications to February 2.
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“A payments bank can accept deposits, both savings and current, up to a maximum of Rs.10,000 initially, with the stated primary role of extending payments and remittance services to small businesses and low-income households,” as per the RBI rule.
“Some key facilitators for such services can include ATMs, mobile and internet banking, authorised business correspondents and point-of-sale terminal locations, as in retail stores,” it added.