RBI gives nod to Bharti Airtel's payments Bank Unit

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given its in-principle approval to Bharti Airtel’s payments bank venture — Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMCS).
With this AMCS has become the first entity to receive final approval from the RBI to start a payments bank. Airtel M Commerce is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, a telecom company.
Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank has upto 19.9 per cent stake in Airtel M Commerce.
Note: The Payments Banks are not allowed to lend. Hence, a tie-up with banks will help them source loans for their customers.

  • In August 2015, RBI had granted in-principle licences to 11 entities to start payments banks.
  • The ‘in-principle’ approval was valid for 18 months, during that time RBI had asked applicants to comply with the licensing norms.
  • Most of the players who received the payments licences are yet to apply for the final licences. One of them Cholamandalam Distribution Services Ltd. has decided not to go ahead with the venture.

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



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