Patym founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma wants to be the first player to launch a payments bank in the country. He was one of the two individuals besides nine other entities to get the Reserve Bank of India’s nod for a payments bank licence. “We are excited about the opportunity that RBI has given us. Probably it should take 18 months but we hope to do it much before that,” Sharma, who is also the CEO of Paytm (operated by One 97 Communications Ltd), said. One97 is planning to separate its e-commerce and payments businesses as part of plans to go head first with the payments bank platform. The company, which counts Alibaba’s Alipay and SAIF Partners as large shareholders, will put the payments business under a new company Paytm Payment Bank Ltd, in which Sharma will own majority (51 per cent) stake. The new firm would be registered in the next three months. The wallet licence with One97 will be rolled over to Paytm Payment while its e-commerce business will continue to be housed under One97 Communications. Paytm claims to have over 100 million users for its mobile wallet. As a payments bank, Paytm will be able to provide its customers with a three-step life cycle comprising pay, buy and save. In an interaction with Techcircle.in, Sharma also sheds light on why he decided to go solo rather than tie up with a bank. The company’s ultimate goal is to add half a billion users to the Paytm platform by 2020. “Our primary strategy is to double down on growth of mobile internet in this country. Paytm exists because of mobile internet,” he said.
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