Paytm to launch payments bank next week
India’s Paytm has at last got final approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and is set to unveil its Paytm Payments Bank on 23 May.
The bank was set to launch in August 2016, and teamed with IT services integrator Wipro for its plan. No reasons were given for the delay. As reported last year, Paytm alone raised $700 million in 2015. It further raised $400 million in 2016. Today (18 May), it has revealed that Japan’s Softbank has committed funding of $1.4 billion. Paytm is now Softbank’s largest investment in India. Part of Paytm’s success is also attributed to its close association with China’s Alibaba group and its founder Jack Ma.
Paytm’s holding company, One97 Communications, says Renu Satti, VP of business at Paytm, will take over as the CEO. Which means Shinjini Kumar, a former senior executive at RBI, who was hired in February 2016 by Paytm to head up the new bank is now history. Again, there is no explanation for this development.
Paytm says all active wallet accounts on its payments app will be transferred to the payments bank. For users who do not wish to transfer their accounts, they can opt out through a written request. For accounts unused for six months and having zero balances, Paytm says it will transfer wallets only when the user notifies it to do so – and these notifications need to be made before 23 May.
In terms of its goals, the bank states it is targeting 200 million accounts, across current and savings accounts, and mobile wallets, within one year of the launch. By 2020, it wants to reach 500 million accounts. At present, Paytm has almost 218 million wallet accounts.