Independent Research and Policy Advocacy

How Do India’s Payments Banks Measure Against Key Principles for Financial Inclusion?

Payments banks are different from regular banks. They can only accept deposits up to Rs. 1 lakh per person, roughly $1500, and cannot grant loans. Furthermore, payments banks can only invest their money in safe government securities and other highly liquid assets. Their primary objective is to further financial inclusion by providing access to small savings, payments and remittance services to low-income customers without compromising financial stability.

Payments Banks become a reality

The RBI has published final Guidelines for Licensing of Payments Banks in India after reviewing feedback and comments obtained by it on the draft guidelines that were published in July 2014 and covered in an earlier post.

Niche banking in India: Draft Guidelines for Payments Banks

The Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low Income Households recommended developing a vertically differentiated banking structure, in which banks specialise in one or more of three functions- payments, credit delivery and retail deposit taking.