Vodafone appoints Rahul Bhagat to conceptualise payments bank

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Rahul Bhagat, HDFC Bank executive

To ensure that the telecom giant Vodafone India gets support to conceptualise the payment banks for  the organization, it has appointed former HDFC Bank executive Rahul Bhagat as an adviser, an official informed.

To get this shuffle rolling, the telecom operator got a central bank permit last year.

“Rahul Bhagat has joined Vodafone India for supporting us in conceptualising the launch of the payments bank,” a Vodafone spokesman said. Bhagat, who prior to HDFC Bank worked at ANZ Grindlays and Bank of America, handled retail and digital products at the Indian lender before he left last year.

Vodafone India already has a payment wallet, M-Pesa, run by its chief Suresh Sethi. The payments bank will be synchronised with this platform as the RBI’s objective of giving the license is to increase connections .

Bhagat, who has been in the banking industry for nearly 25 years, is expected to help with permissions, structuring of the organisation in line with the RBI’s expectations and commercial planning, said an official source.

The move ties in with Vodafone’s plan to increase its data consuming subscriber base. Value-added services that consume the Internet as an enabler could bring more profitable consumers to the company’s core business. The intensity of its roll-out will continue, with major metros like Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Delhi to be covered by March 2016.

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