Wednesday, 28 June, 2017

Indian digital payments firm Paytm launches niche payments bank

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Clarence Schmidt | 23 May, 2017, 12:24

How to open a Paytm payments bank account? The bank will also roll out its banking app in the beta phase, initially for its employees, the company said.

Prospective Paytm customers can request an invite by going to the company's official website or on the Paytm iOS app.

Paytm aims to open 31 branches and 3,000 customer service points in the first year. We are proud that our customer deposits will be safely invested in government bonds, and be used for nation-building. "None of our deposits will be converted in to risky assets", Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chairman, Paytm Payments Bank said in the statement. As mentioned earlier, setting up an account is invite only, you can log on to paytm.com/bank to get an invite.

While one may think of Paytm loosing out on the interest rates battle (though its rates are in line with traditional banks and won't hurt it much), the company's cash withdrawl charges are extremely well targeted. The bank claims to be India's first bank with zero charges on online transactions, no minimum balance requirement and free virtual debit card. Its competitor Airtel Payments Bank is giving 7.25% interest on deposits in savings accounts, while India Post Payments Bank is providing 4.5-5.5% interest on deposits depending on the amount.

Payments bank is a differentiated bank and a rather new phenomenon in India's financial services and banking space, wherein an account holder is allowed to open accounts with a deposit limit of upto 1 Lakh.

Paytm said it had a 100 million active users on its portal now which will be automatically transferred to the banks' new facilities.

An advertisement of Paytm, a digital wallet company, is pictured at a road side stall in Kolkata, India, January 25, 2017.

"We are very excited to launch Paytm Payments Bank and bring financial services to unbanked segment of Indians".

The current Paytm wallet will move to the Paytm Payments Bank in the same capacity. According to media reports, the banking regulator had some concerns around its ownership structure. Sharma owns 51% in the payments bank while the rest is owned by Paytm's parent One97 Communications and its subsidiaries. "We will invest over Rs 400 crore over the next two years to build banking network across the country", Paytm Payments Bank CEO Renu Satti said. Sharma has put in Rs 112 crore, according to media reports. Companies which also bagged the license for creating a bank are Aditya Birla Nuvo, Fino Pay Tech Ltd, Vodafone m-pesa and Reliance Industries.

Like this report? Sign up for our daily newsletter to get our top reports. Since the payments bank is relatively new, one can apply for an account on invite only.

Paytm Payments bank is a transactions bank and so any online transaction is done on PPB will be completely free. "Today, the Reserve Bank of India gave permission to formally".

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