Indian mobile wallet firm Paytm has set 23rd May as the launch date for its payment bank.
Launching nationwide, the bank will be headed up by Paytm Payments Bank CEO Renu Satti. The firm was one of several companies to be granted a licence by the Reserve Bank of India to establish a payments bank, as part of an RBI initiative to provide access to current and limited-deposit savings accounts to India’s unbanked population.
Since April 2015, when the RBI approved a provisional banking licence to Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the company has been building hype for the launch of its payments bank. In January this year, Paytm CFO Madhur Deora claimed that the service would allow the firm to hit its 500 million customer target.
A statement from Paytm said: “The core mission of Paytm Payments Bank will be to cater to the requirements of the unserved and underserved communities of India, and bring them to the mainstream economy. We are looking forward to making Paytm Payments Bank available to all our users very soon.”
The anticipated launch comes four months after Bharti Airtel began offering the first pan-India payments bank service in January. The market leader’s initial pilot of the scheme was deemed a major success, with over a million customers in the Rajasthan region signing up within two months.
No other operators have yet launched a payments bank service, despite several being granted a provisional licence – among them numbers two and three Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which are set to merge their operations after striking a deal in March.