Paytm, the mobile wallet giant is merging its payment wallet business into the newly formed Paytm Payment Bank division. This was declared by Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, owner of Paytm. While ownership of the Paytm Wallet is transferred to Paytm Payments Bank, One97 Communications will remain the owner of the e-commerce platform of the company. The payment bank would start its operations with Rs 400-crore initial capital and the first branch would be set up in Noida, UP. The first branch in Northeast would be opened in Guwahati, it is reported. Paytm wallets recently launched the facility of UPI as a payments channel to recharge its wallet balance, meaning one can recharge their Paytm wallet with the BHIM app.

WHAT ARE PAYMENT BANKS?

  • Payment banks are a new model of banks conceptualised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), where these banks can accept a restricted deposit currently limited to Rs.1,00,000 per customer.
  • These banks cannot issue loans and credit cards.
  • Current accounts and Savings accounts can be operated by such banks.
  • The interest to be paid can be decided by these banks itself. Presently Airtel, which is having a similar setup, is paying 7.5% interest on the deposits. It is rumoured that Paytm might give 14.5% interest on such deposits.

HOW WILL THE MERGER AFFECT THE PRESENT PAYTM CUSTOMER?

According to Paytm, “Your money is absolutely safe in the Paytm Wallet. It is always yours and you will never lose it. If you have any balance in your current Paytm Wallet, it will reflect in your new Paytm Payments Bank Wallet.”  

Readers will know that Alipay, the mobile wallet of Alibaba.com is the technology sharing partner for Paytm. Alibaba’s ANT has invested in 40% of One97 Communications, the company behind Paytm. Vijay Shekhar Sharma owns 51% of the share in the new Paytm Payment Bank and the rest is invested by One97 Communications. But Alibaba does not have any direct investment in the bank.


Rati Hegde