Reliance, Paytm, NSE, BSE and others express interest in RBI’s ‘new umbrella entity’ system
The Reserve Bank of India’s attempt to bring private sector entities to participate in the operation and governance of the country’s burgeoning retail payment system seems to be generating interest among India Inc.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries, Paytm, capital market exchanges NSE and BSE are among top firms interested in securing licences to own and operate an entity with powers at a par with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), multiple sources aware of the development told ET.
The companies have appointed advisers to steer the project and held early stage discussions with RBI to explore the possibility of applying for a licence under its draft New Umbrella Entity (NUE) norms, people aware said.
They said the widespread interest stems from the fact that these companies feel they have expertise and infrastructure to handle payment settlement at scale, and a licence for NUE can help them have more autonomy and flexibility. Besides, it may pave way for several collaborative products that could determine the future of India’s payment ecosystem.
“A Reliance-owned entity in partnership with Facebook could introduce digital currency project Libra 2.0 in a phased manner with due approvals,” said one of the sources cited above. “Those who get approval may well be at the forefront of the next big payments revolution in India.”
The proposed entity would be regulated by RBI and authorised under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act (PSSA) 2007, as per the draft guideline. The company, unlike NPCI, which is owned by a consortium of top Indian banks, can be a “for-profit” entity as well.