Reliance, SBI Sign To Set Up Payments Bank


New Delhi: Energy-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries and India's largest lender SBI have signed shareholders agreements to set up small deposit-taking institutions, called payments bank. While RIL is the promoter with 70%, SBI will have an equity investment of 30%. In a filing to the BSE, RIL said, “All requisite regulatory and statutory approvals will now be sought for operationalising the payments bank.”

RIL and SBI entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding in February 2015 to set out the principal terms for the venture. “The payments bank is integral to RIL’s digital initiative in a rapidly converging world of telecom, Internet, commerce, media and financial services,” Mukesh Ambani, RIL chairman and managing director, said last August.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year gave in-principle approval to 11 entities, including RIL, to open payments banks that will widen the reach of banking services and push the government’s goal of financial inclusion. The new category of banks will provide basic savings, deposit, payment and remittance services to people without access to the formal banking system.

“By combining RIL’s technology, last mile reach and distribution through RIL’s telecom and retail initiatives and SBI’s banking expertise in offering financial services to millions of retail consumers and small enterprises across the country, the payments bank will work toward digitizing payments and promoting digital savings and investments products by creating a cash-less society,” RIL said.