Thursday, November 27, 2014

#RBI releases final guidelines for licencing of Payments Banks

RBI has released the final guidelines for granting license to set up Payments Banks.

Payments Banks would extend credit to the small borrower who is hitherto dependent on the money lenders and other such entities for loan purposes.

Mobile service providers, existing non-banking finance companies and local area banks are seen as potential entities setting up such banks.
Payments Bank will be set up as a differentiated bank and shall confine its activities to further the objectives for which it is set up. Therefore, the Payments Bank would be permitted to undertake only certain restricted activities permitted to banks under the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, as given below:
Acceptance of demand deposits, i.e., current deposits, and savings bank deposits. The eligible deposits mobilised by the Payments Bank would be covered under the deposit insurance scheme of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (DICGC). Given that their primary role is to provide payments and remittance services and demand deposit products to small businesses and low-income households, Payments Banks will initially be restricted to holding a maximum balance of Rs. 100,000 per customer. After the performance of the Payments Bank is gauged by the RBI, the maximum balance can be raised. If the transactions in the accounts conform to the “small accounts”1 transactions, simplified KYC/AML/CFT norms will be applicable to such accounts as defined under the Rules framed under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002.

Payments and remittance services through various channels including branches, BCs and mobile banking. The payments / remittance services would include acceptance of funds at one end through various channels including branches and BCs and payments of cash at the other end, through branches, BCs, and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Cash-out can also be permitted at Point-of-Sale terminal locations as per extant instructions issued under the PSS Act. In the case of walk-in customers, the bank should follow the extant KYC guidelines issued by the RBI.

Issuance of PPIs as per instructions issued from time to time under the PSS Act.

Internet banking - The RBI is also open to applicants transacting primarily using the Internet. The Payments Bank is expected to leverage technology to offer low cost banking solutions. Such a bank should ensure that it has all enabling systems in place including business partners, third party service providers and risk managements systems and controls to enable offering transactional services on the internet. While offering such services, the Payments Bank will be required to comply with RBI instructions on information security, electronic banking, technology risk management and cyber frauds.

Functioning as Business Correspondent (BC) of other banks – A Payments Bank may choose to become a BC of another bank for credit and other services which it cannot offer.

The Payments Bank cannot set up subsidiaries to undertake non-banking financial services activities. The other financial and non-financial services activities of the promoters, if any, should be kept distinctly ring-fenced and not comingled with the banking and financial services business of the Payments Bank.

The Payments Bank will be required to use the word “Payments” in its name in order to differentiate it from other banks.