Alternate banking channel provider FINO PayTech has announced that it will be applying for a payments bank licence. FINO joins the race for a payments bank licence along with India’s largest telecom operator Airtel which announced its plans in association with Kotak Mahindra Bank last week.
FINO, which primarily operates as a business correspondent for banks, says that it has catered to more than 80 million individuals for banking needs in 29 states in India.
It is interesting to note the FINO had acquired Nokia Money in 2012 and launched a service called Takatak Money. Takatak Money offers money transfers, utility bill payments, mobile & DTH recharges, and the company said that it is bank and telecom operator agnostic, targeting both urban and rural customers. In 2013, FINO’s subsidiary Alpha Payment Services launched its mobile wallet services in India.
Earlier in November 2014, FINO PayTech partnered with ecommerce player Snapdeal to launch assisted e-commerce centres in semi-urban, rural and low-income residential areas across India. Snapdeal plans to set up such FINO PayTech-operated assisted e-commerce outlets or kiosks across 70,000 rural areas in 65 cities by end of the current financial year.
Other players in race for payments banks
Digital payments companies, Paytm and MobiKwik have also said that they would apply for a payments bank licence. Paytm’s vice president for business Amit Lakhotia had said that the company, which has a user base of 20 million, is not looking to partner with any other scheduled commercial bank for the payments bank licence.
MobiKwik’s head of strategy, Mrinal Sinha, told Medianama that, should the company get a payments bank licence, it will be able to offer interest on the money which is stored on their wallets. He added that with the payments bank licence the company will be looking at ways where customers can withdraw cash from their wallets.