Paytm

Mobile-focused e-commerce marketplace Paytm will be opening around 50,000 offline retail outlets where users can load cash into their wallets and also has introduced IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) on its platform, through which users will be able to use their mobile wallets to transfer money into bank accounts, reports YourStory.

Interestingly, Paytm is also one of the 41 applicants for payments bank license according to a list released by RBI. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm applied for the license in his personal capacity.We wonder if the new offline retail stores can function as infrastructure in the future for a payments bank if Paytm gets a licence from the RBI.

As for the IMPS feature, users will need to have mobile or email address verified and must have had their account registered for over 45 days. The minimum account balance for carrying out such transactions is Rs 2,000, while the minimum transaction amount is Rs 1,000. The daily upper limit for bank account transactions is Rs 5,000 and the monthly limit is Rs 25,000.

It’s worth noting that close on the heels of issuing new guidelines for payments banks, the Reserve Bank of India also relaxed some of its norms for pre-paid instruments (PPI). This included allowing two new categories of open system of pre-paid instruments. The new guidelines also allowed open PPIs which are instruments which can be used for purchase of goods and services, including financial services like funds transfer at any card accepting merchant locations (point of sale terminals) and also permit cash withdrawal at ATMs / BCs.

At the time, the RBI had also mentioned that the transaction and monthly limits are currently Rs 10,000 per transaction with a monthly ceiling of Rs 25,000. The bank had ruled that such PPIs may be issued only by loading the value from fully KYC-compliant bank account of the purchasers and that the beneficiary has to be a dependent or family member.

Paytm funding: Last month, Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group’s affiliate company Ant Financial Services, which operates the online payment solution AliPay, had said it would acquire 25% stake in One97 Communications for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Ant Financial will also provide Paytm with strategic and technical support for its business.

It’s worth noting that SoftBank, that owns 32% stake in Alibaba, was also reported to be in talks with Paytm to invest $300 million for a significant minority stake in October last year. This was around the same time when SoftBank invested $627 million in e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal and led a $210 million investment into online cab booking service Ola. Note, Ratan Tata also invested an undisclosed amount in the e-wallet service provide earlier this month, and was to become an advisor on the company’s board.

Corrigendum: The headline initially said the stores are open as of now, however no dates for the opening are mentioned.