India’s Paytm secures third-party app license ahead of bank unit curb


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The National Payments Corporation of India, the firm that built the eponymous UPI rail in the country, approved Paytm’s application to participate in the payments ecosystem as a third-party application provider, delivering much-needed relief to the financial services firm that serves more than 300 million users and over 10 million merchants in the South Asian market.

The third-party application provider license will enable Paytm to offer payments through the UPI network even as Paytm’s parent firm One97 Communications’ banking unit — Payment Payments Bank — is scheduled to cease operations on Friday. The Reserve Bank of India ordered Paytm in late January to cease operations at Paytm Payments Bank, an affiliate of the financial services firm that processed majority of its transactions.

The move created shockwaves through the industry, and also meant that Paytm needed to secure the third-party application provider license to continue many of the Paytm app’s operations.

Axis, HDFC, State Bank of India and Yes Bank will serve as payment system provider to the Paytm app, NPCI said Thursday.

“YES Bank shall also be acting as merchant acquiring bank for existing and new UPI merchants for OCL. ‘@Paytm’ handle shall be redirected to YES Bank,” NPCI said in a statement.

“This will enable existing users and merchants to continue to do UPI transactions and AutoPay mandates in a seamless and uninterrupted manner. OCL has been advised to complete migration for all existing handles and mandates, wherever required, to new PSP banks at the earliest.”

The RBI set up NPCI, which collaborated with the country’s lenders to build UPI in an attempt to make retail payments faster, more accessible and cost-efficient. Individuals in India can transact with everybody else in the country by just using their virtual payment address.

The RBI had advised NPCI to swiftly issue the third-party application provider license, or TPAP, to Paytm to help mitigate disruptions for its customers.



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