The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) wants to license mobile operators and other non-banking players such as supermarkets to offer a limited range of financial services, such as taking deposits, although not giving out loans.
The aim of the RBI’s draft guidelines is to boost financial inclusion among the poorer parts of the Indian population.
So-called Payments Banks will also offer remittance services and will have a widespread network of access points particularly in remote areas, according to the proposals.
The aim is for the new banks to add value by adopting technological solutions to bring down costs, all of which sounds like a M-Pesa-style mobile money service.
Economic Times tips Idea Cellular and local chain Future Retails as potential payments banks.
Separately, the guidelines propose a second category of financial institution called Small Banks which can lend, as well as take deposits, but with restrictions where they can operate. Operators are not being tipped for this category at present.
The deadline for suggestions and comments is 28 August