Paytm launches ATMs via partners including local shops

Softbank-backed Paytm on Tuesday unveiled its ATMs or partner outlets where customers can open bank accounts, deposit cash and withdraw money. It plans to invest Rs3,000 crore over the next three years to expand these offline distribution networks by allowing local stores to act as potential cash-in and cash-out points.

It plans to add 100,000 'Paytm ka ATM' across India to the current 3,000 approved outlets.

The company launched its payments bank last month. It offers zero charges on all online transactions and no minimum balance required for holding an account.

In the first phase, Paytm has started with 3,000 'Paytm Ka ATM' points in select cities including Delhi-NCR, Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Aligarh.

''The Paytm ka ATM banking outlet is our step towards ensuring every Indian has access to banking facilities,'' said Renu Satti, managing director of Paytm Payments Bank.

''We believe this hyper-local model of banking will play a crucial role in enabling hundreds of millions of under-served and un-served customers to gain access to quality banking services.''

These ATMs will be neighbourhood shops, which would act as business correspondents for Paytm and offer services like opening saving accounts, depositing and withdrawing of money.

"The Paytm Ka ATM banking outlets is our step towards ensuring every Indian has access to banking facilities. This will enable our customers to visit their trusted neighbourhood outlet to open their bank account, deposit and withdraw cash, in addition to getting their Aadhaar linked,'' Satti said.

These outlets are expected to be playing a key role in bringing banking access to smaller cities and towns by ensuring customers find it easy to locate an access point near them.

In May, the Reserve Bank of India liberalised the branch authorisation policy and also extended the role of bank boards to ensure that the new guidelines were complied with.

The RBI removed the restriction on tier-1 branches, which was earlier linked to the number of branches opened in unbanked areas. The regulator had also stipulated that a 'banking outlet' can be one which is open for a minimum of four hours a day and five days a week.