Payment industry veterans, Naveen Surya and Vishwas Patel have teamed up and set up a new entity to apply to the Reserve Bank of India for a license to operate retail payments systems under the central bank’s New Umbrella Entity (NUE) framework. The new company, So Hum Bharat Digital Payments Pvt Ltd, plans to set up, manage and operate new payments systems that would compete with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), according to a press release.

Back in 2007, Surya set up ItzCash Card, one of the first pre-paid wallet companies in the country. A decade later he left the company and has since been working with the Payments Council of India, an industry body under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India. At present, Surya is the chairman emeritus of the PCI and is the chairman of the Fintech Convergence Council, another IAMAI-backed industry body for fintech lenders, insurers and investment players.

On the other hand, Patel’s foray in the payments industry began in 2001 when founded CC Avenue, which is a leading payment gateway service provider. He oversaw the company while it grabbed a large portion of the domestic market, entered cross-border payments, e-commerce, software services and the data centre business. Currently, Patel is the executive director of Infibeam Avenues Ltd, a listed company which is the parent of CC Avenue, Bill Avenue, ResAvenue and several other platforms.

Patel said one of the major considerations of this venture is to be a part of an ecosystem that is expected to “deliver the most impactful market expansion in the country through a 6x increase in active digital consumers over the next decade from the current base of 100 million to 600 million”.

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