The Reserve Bank of India granted âin-principleâ approval to 11 firms to set up payment banks. It picked just around one-in-four of the applicants though it was less conservative than last year when it picked just two of the 25 who sought to start new retail banks in the country.
RBI's picks straddle telecom firms, conglomerates, new age tech firms and some surprise inclusions like Sun Pharma, promoter among others.
The ones chosen will be given 18 months to comply with the requisite guidelines laid down last November. Once set up, these organisations will be able to initiate simple banking transactions, accept demand deposits with a limit of Rs 1 lakh, issue ATM/debit cards and become business correspondents of other banks but will not be allowed to lend or accept term deposits.
The entry of these new niche banks will help penetration of financial services lower down the economic strata of the society.
Here's a quick look at the 11 who will soon start payment banking operations.