Private sector lender Axis Bank is open to partnering a payments bank and is in talks with a few aspirants for a potential partnership, according to a senior official.
The Reserve Bank came out with final guidelines for Payments Banks (PB) last month, wherein the aspirants have been allowed to enter into joint ventures with lenders.
“We are open for a tie-up and working with a Payments Bank. We are in conversation with a few people (for a tie-up),” Axis Bank, President – Retail Lending, Jairam Sridharan told PTI.
While he did not identify the parties Axis Bank is in talks with, Sridharan reiterated that the bank is “certainly” willing to forge a tie-up.
Asked about the timing of such a tie-up, Sridharan hinted that it may be done inside the deadline for application, as it will be beneficial for an applicant while submitting a business plan.
The PB aspirants have to apply by January 16 next year.
The RBI kick started the process of differentiated banking with the release of the final guidelines for operationalising the PBs and Small Finance Banks, which are aimed at deepening financial inclusion. The PBs are aimed at encouraging savings and help with the remittances.
There is a cap on the stake which can be held by commercial banks in a PB.
Existing non-bank lenders, prepaid payment instrument issuers, corporate business correspondents, mobile telephone companies and super market chains have been allowed by the RBI to enter the fray.
Axis Bank’s network spanned 2,505 branches and 13,146 ATMs as on September 30, 2014.