The Paytm Payments bank finally opened its operations to everyone, after its initial launch in May. Initially, the feature was launched in Beta only and was available via an invite-only system.
With the new update (6.0.0) available on both Android and iOS, the banking service is only available through the app. As of now, it cannot be accessed through the browser, nor are there any physical branches of the bank.
The bank account has no minimum balance requirements, though the maximum amount has been capped at ₹1 lakh, as per RBI guidelines. Paytm claims that they are the first bank to not charge any additional amount for online transactions, along with a free and virtual RuPay debit card. Other electronic transactions, such as for UPI, will not be charged either. Other services, such as physical cards, checkbooks, and passbooks, will be charged at industry rates, as per their website.
On savings accounts, the PayTM offers a 4% interest rate. If someone needs to transfer money from their Paytm wallet to the account, a nominal fee of 3% will be charged. ATM transactions will be free up to the 5 transactions, after which ₹20 will be charged for each transaction, which is a standard practice for other banks.
Paytm Payments bank received its license from the RBI in January earlier this year. Vijay Sharma, the CEO of PayTM, is the licensee for the bank itself. He owns 51% in the company, while the rest is owned by One97 Communications.
Paytm looking to for partners to offer other banking services
It is also in reportedly in talks with full-service banks, in order to offer various services like loans and deposits, that are available at other banks. “Anything which we cannot offer, we will be partnering with the banks. Whether it’s going to be a loan, or a credit card, or a term deposit, and other services,” said Renu Satti, CEO of Paytm Payments Bank to Reuters. She did not name any banks that PayTM was looking to partner with.
Airtel Payments Bank, another bank licensed by the RBI under its Payments Bank scheme, launched in January, after a two-month pilot project in Rajasthan. Compared to Paytm, it offers a higher interest rate of 7.25%, though it does not offer services such as chequebooks or debit cards. It also charges 0.65% on cash withdrawals.
Fino Payments Bank, which received a final license from the RBI for the launch in March, is now live with 410 branches across 14 states and a network of 25,000 banking points. It will offer banking services such as current & savings accounts, remittances, business correspondent (BC) lending, mobile banking through the BPay app, life & general insurance and bill payments.
India Post Payments Bank, at of the end of January 2017, was operational only with 8 access points in total, in Raipur (Chhatisgarh) and Ranchi (Jharkhand). The Payments Bank intends to set up access points in post offices in up to 650 districts with linkages to all post offices (around 1.55 lakh of them) across India, by September 2017.
Vodafone was reportedly looking at the possibility of surrendering its lincence back to the RBI, a possible casualty due to its merger with Idea Cellular. If it does so, it would join Tech Mahindra and Sun Pharma as companies which surrendered their licenses after approval from the RBI.