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Payments banks is a new model of banks conceptualised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These banks can accept a restricted deposit, which is currently limited to ₹1 lakh per customer and may be increased further. These banks cannot issue loans and credit cards. Both current account and savings accounts can be operated by such banks. Payments banks can issue services like ATM cards, debit cards, net-banking and mobile-banking. Bharti Airtel set up India's first live payments bank.
On 23 September 2013, Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households, headed by Nachiket Mor, was formed by the RBI. On 7 January 2014, the Nachiket Mor committee submitted its final report. Among its various recommendations, it recommended the formation of a new category of bank called payments bank. On 17 July 2014, the RBI released the draft guidelines for payment banks, seeking comments for interested entities and the general public. On 27 November, RBI released the final guidelines for payment banks.
In February 2015, RBI released the list of entities which had applied for a payments bank licence. There were 41 applicants. It was also announced that an external advisory committee (EAC) headed by Nachiket Mor would evaluate the licence applications. On 28 February 2015, during the presentation of the Budget it was announced that India Post will use its large network to run payments bank. The external advisory committee headed by Nachiket Mor submitted its findings on 6 July 2015. The applicant entities were examined for their financial track record and governance issues. On 19 August 2015, the Reserve Bank of India gave "in-principle" licences to eleven entities to launch payments banks. The "in-principle" license was valid for 18 months within which the entities must fulfil the requirements and they were not allowed to engage in banking activities within the period. The RBI will grant full licenses under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, after it is satisfied that the conditions have been fulfilled.
The minimum capital requirement is ₹100 crore. For the first five years, the stake of the promoter should remain at least 40%. Foreign share holding will be allowed in these banks as per the rules for FDI in private banks in India. The voting rights will be regulated by the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. The voting right of any shareholder is capped at 10%, which can be raised to 26% by Reserve Bank of India. Any acquisition of more than 5% will require approval of the RBI. The majority of the bank's board of directors should consist of independent directors, appointed according to RBI guidelines.
The bank should be fully networked from the beginning. The bank can accept utility bills. It cannot form subsidiaries to undertake non-banking activities. Initially, the deposits will be capped at ₹100,000 per customer, but it may be raised by the RBI based on the performance of the bank. The bank cannot undertake lending activities. 25% of its branches must be in the unbanked rural area. The bank must use the term "payments bank" in its name to differentiate it from other types of bank. The banks will be licensed as payments banks under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and will be registered as public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013.
Of the 41 applicants, the list of RBI approved for provisional Payments Bank licenses are: 11
The list of active Payments Bank are: 6
Bharti Airtel launched India's first live payments bank named Airtel payment bank in March 2017. Paytm payment bank, India Post payment bank ,Fino Payment bank and Aditya Birla Payment Bank have also launched services. Cholamandalam Distribution Services, Sun Pharmaceuticals and Tech Mahindra have surrendered their licenses.