Airtel gets RBI license for payments bank

Airtel M Commerce Services, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has received payments bank license from Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

In August 2015, 11 companies including Aditya Birla Nuvo, Department of Posts, Reliance Industries (RIL), Tech Mahindra, in addition to Airtel M Commerce Services, and Vodafone m-pesa had received approval from the RBI for setting up payments banks.

In January 2015, Airtel M Commerce Services filed an application for the payments bank license with the RBI, and partnered with Kotak Mahindra Bank (Kotak) as an investor.

“Pursuant to Regulation 30 of Listing Regulation, we are pleased to inform you that Airtel M Commerce Services, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel has been granted payments bank license from RBI on April 11, 2016,” said Bharti Airtel in a filing to BSE.

Bharti Airtel is India’s largest telecom operator.

Kotak had picked up 19.90 percent stake in Airtel M Commerce Services for Rs 98.38 crore. Airtel offers mobile money services under the brand name Airtel Money which proposes to convert the existing pre-paid payment instrument license into a Payments Bank license as per the guidelines prescribed by the RBI.

Airtel Money, launched in 2011, was the first mobile based pre-paid payment instrument service in the country which today empowers millions across India to leverage their mobile phones as a secure way for making payments and transferring money.