SoftBank opens up wallet for Paytm; infuses Rs 9K cr

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In one of the largest funding round by a single investor, Japan's Softbank has committed to fund Paytm with Dollars 1.4 billion, the Noida-based company said in a statement today. In January 2014, it launched the Paytm Wallet, which has emerged as India's biggest digital wallet with over 220 million users and is accepted as the preferred mode of payment by over 5 million offline merchants across India.

Since April 2015, when the RBI approved a provisional banking licence to Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the company has been building hype for the launch of its payments bank. Most recently, she was heading the movie ticketing business as vice president.

Paytm Payments Bank was registered in August 2016 as a subsidiary of One97 Communications with Sharma holding a 51 per cent stake in the company.

Ecommerce and payments startup Paytm is all set to roll out its payments bank on May 23, 2017. Renu Satti, who is now a vice-president at Paytm, will head the payments bank operations.

Before Paytm, she has worked with Mother Dairy and Manpower group.

One97 Communications now shelters Paytm's mobile wallet business including travel booking, movie ticketing etc and payments bank business which is set to be launched on 23 May. Payments banks can issue services like ATM cards, debit cards, net-banking and mobile-banking; but they are barred from offering loans and credit cards.

Also, you can not keep more than Rs 1 lakh in the Paytm payments bank. The wallet business has also been transferred to the newly created payments bank entity to meet RBI's guidelines. Alibaba and its affiliate Alipay now jointly hold about 45% in One97 Communications. A total of 21 entities were given in-principle nod previous year, including 11 for payments banks.

The e-wallet major has been seen as one of the major beneficiaries from PM Narendra Modi's demonetisation drive, under which the government banned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 promoted digital transactions in the country.

Noida, India-based Paytm makes a popular smartphone app that can be used to pay for goods and services spanning auto-rickshaw rides to groceries.

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