More reports on: Financial services

Paytm hopes to start banking operations by end March

18 March 2017

Paytm Payments Bank, which got final approval from the Reserve Bank in January, hopes to start operations by the month-end, Paytm founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma said on Friday.

''If the RBI blesses us, we will be able to have our bank by this month-end. Banking must be made available to everyone, the money that the customer puts in isn't a liability but an asset,'' Sharma said at the India Today Conclave.

Stating that banking in the present form is outdated, he said, ''Versace suits will not change the banking model. Our payments bank will be built on a new model that will be focused on bringing financial services to the hundreds of millions of unserved or under-served.''

Taking a swipe at the way banks have dealt with loans given to industrialists and especially in dealing with the big-ticket defaulters, Sharma said, ''The present financial system penalises a sincere person, but if someone speaks the language of those in the corridors of power, he takes a loan of hundreds of crores and fails to pay it back, he will still manage to live in London or such locales.''

Sharma expressed the belief that with greater penetration of mobile internet connectivity, his business will grow further.

Paytm currently has about 215 million subscribers, Sharma said, adding as against this the State Bank of India has 207 million subscribers.

Paytm does about 200 million transactions a month, while according to RBI data, all other e-wallets put together do 190 million transactions.

''You can undermine a business but not a technology; it is a tsunami,'' he said on online payments and smart phones. ''To further deepen this, we need better Internet network and telecom connections.''

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