RBI gives nod to Bharti’s payments bank unit

airtelAfter receiving the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) final nod, Bharti Airtel’s payments bank venture– Airtel M Commerce Services Limited has become the first entity to to start a payments bank.

Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank has picked up 19.9 per cent stake in Airtel M Commerce, sources said.

The telecom giant on Monday was granted the licence on Monday by RBI and the Airtel M Commerce had apprised stock exchanges about the development.

It may be noted that the banking regulator had in August 2015, had granted in-principle licences to 11 entities to start payments banks. However, one of them — Cholamandalam Distribution Services Ltd. did not go ahead with the venture.

The ‘in-principle’ approval was valid for 18 months, during which time the applicants were asked by RBI to comply with the licensing norms.

Some of the other players who have got such differentiated licences include Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Vodaphone m-pesa, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of the mobile wallet Paytm, and Fino Pay Tech, among others.

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