Axis Bank, one of India’s leading private sector lenders, has expressed its willingness to collaborate with Paytm, a prominent player in the fintech industry, if the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) grants them permission. Amitabh Chaudhry, the managing director and chief executive officer of Axis Bank, made this statement during the launch of Axis Bank’s ‘2023 Burgundy Private Hurun India 500’ event.
Chaudhry emphasized that they are eager to work with Paytm but are subject to regulatory approval. He stated, “Subject to regulatory approval and if the regulator allows us to work with Paytm, of course, we will work with them. They are an important player in the fintech industry.” One of Axis Bank’s officials also mentioned that discussions have been ongoing with Paytm regarding general business services, and they are exploring new aspects after January 31, 2024.
On January 31, 2024, the RBI issued an order to halt Paytm Payments Bank from accepting new deposits and conducting transactions from February 29, 2024. The regulatory body cited “persistent non-compliance” and “material supervisory concerns” as the reasons for this action.
Parag Rao from HDFC Bank also highlighted that they are currently in talks with Paytm and assessing the developments. He noted a significant increase in customer traction on HDFC Bank’s application following the RBI’s order on the payments bank. It is worth mentioning that as of now, Paytm’s UPI app, operated by One 97 Communications Limited, does not have any relationship with commercial banks.
Arjun Chowdhry, the Group Executive of Affluent Banking, Non-Resident Indian, Cards, and Payments at Axis Bank, revealed that discussions with Paytm have extended beyond January 31. He clarified that these discussions are related to general business and not specific to any particular service. Chowdhry mentioned, “We are having conversations with Paytm for our normal business services. Post the development that happened on January 31, we are discussing new things.”
Paytm is currently experiencing intense scrutiny from both regulators and investors following the RBI’s order to cease accepting deposits in its accounts or popular digital wallet after February 29. This decision has dealt a significant blow to the ambitions of Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm’s parent company, One 97 Communications Limited.
About Axis Bank
- Third largest private sector bank in India.
- Founded in 1994.
- Over 5,100+ branches and 15,000+ ATMs across India.
- Full range of banking products: savings accounts, current accounts, loans, credit cards, etc.
- Wealth management and investment services.
- Digital banking services: mobile app, internet banking, UPI payments.
Axis Bank has signalled its willingness to work with Paytm, with discussions currently taking place. However, final collaboration will be contingent on approval from the RBI.
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