India-headquartered mobile wallet company Paytm will launch its anticipated payments bank on 23 May, four months after Bharti Airtel rolled-out the country’s first nationwide service.
Paytm talked-up the potential of its forthcoming payments bank regularly since company founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was granted a provisional licence by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April 2015. In January 2017, Paytm CFO Madhur Deora said the new service was one of the drivers which will help the company reach its target of 500 million customers.
The bank will launch across the country and be led by new Paytm Payments Bank CEO Renu Satti.
Paytm was one of a number of companies given a licence to develop a payment bank, a scheme devised by the RBI to give the country’s unbanked access to current and limited-deposit savings accounts.
Airtel launched the country’s first service in January following a successful pilot, which attracted more than a million customers in the Rajasthan region in its first two months.
To date no rivals have launched, although other providers granted a provisional licence include both Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which in March agreed to merge their operations.
In a written statement, 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.”