Jio Payments Bank, a joint venture between Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd and State Bank of India, is expected to start operations in December, a financial daily reported, citing three people aware of the development.
Jio Payments Bank, if launched, would be the country's fifth payments bank going live after Airtel Payments Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, India Post Payments Bank, and Fino Payments Bank.
“The payments bank was expected to launch its operations in October. The launch got delayed as the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) had asked them (Jio Payments Bank) to demonstrate its capabilities to ensure it is ready for a glitch-free launch. The launch will now be in December,” one of the persons mentioned above told Mint newspaper.
The payments bank launch was to coincide with the delivery of the 4G-enabled Jio phones in October, the newspaper added.
“The RBI wanted to be sure that the payments bank is fully compliant with all the regulations and is able to service its customers efficiently. The demonstrations are being made to assure the regulator that the standards of customer service will be sustainably maintained,” an executive from Jio told Mint.
Reliance Industries and SBI did not respond to queries from VCCircle seeking confirmation at the time of filing this report.
Reliance had received in-principle approval from the RBI to launch a payments bank in September 2015. In March this year, the company got the final go-ahead to carry on payments bank business in India.
RBI had issued guidelines to set up a new category of banks to support financial inclusion by providing small savings accounts, payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce and low-income households and supply of credit to small business units among others.
Payment banks are meant for simple banking transactions and will not be allowed to lend or accept term deposits. Customers can’t keep more than Rs 1 lakh in their account. As payments banks, these firms will be allowed to accept demand deposits, issue ATM/debit cards and become business correspondents of other banks.