RBI Grants In-Principle Authorisation To 32 Entities To Operate As Online Payment Aggregators

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Amazon (Pay) India Pvt Ltd, Paymate India, Razorpay Software, Pine Labs, and Zomato Payments are among the PAs that have been granted in-principle authorisation

The central bank further said that it is still reviewing applications of an additional 18 PAs

The applications of Freecharge Payments, PayTM Payments, PayU Payments, among others have been returned, but they can reapply within 120 days

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday (February 15) said it has granted in-principal authorisation to 32 existing payment aggregators (PAs) to act as online PAs. 

Amazon (Pay) India Pvt Ltd, Paymate India Pvt Ltd, Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd, Pine Labs Pvt Ltd, and Zomato Payments Pvt Ltd are among the PAs that have been granted in-principle authorisation.

The central bank further said that it is still reviewing applications of an additional existing 18 PAs. 

Meanwhile, Freecharge Payments Technologies Pvt Ltd, PayTM Payments Services Ltd, PayU Payments Pvt Ltd, and Tapits Technologies Pvt Ltd are the four PAs whose applications were returned by the central bank but are permitted to apply within 120 days from the date of return. 

This is the first time the RBI has released the list of entities which have been granted in-principle approval to operate as online PAs. While the companies made individual announcements about the central bank’s in-principle approval till now, there was no official communication from the RBI. 

Among the new PAs, the central bank said it has granted in-principle authorisation to 19 entities, including Tata Payments Ltd, Zoho Payment Technologies Pvt Ltd, and Mswipe Technologies Pvt Ltd. Applications of 9 new PAs, including SBI Payment Services Pvt Ltd, are under process.

The RBI also returned applications of 57 PAs, including few who withdrew their applications. About 17 existing PAs from these list were asked to stop online payment aggregation activity and close their nodal/ escrow accounts within 180 days from the date of return of application.

The RBI released ‘Guidelines on Regulation of Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways’ in March 2020, asking existing payment aggregators  to apply by September 30, 2021 for seeking authorisation under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act). 

In essence, the framework mandated all payments aggregators to have a licence in order to acquire merchants and deploy digital payments solutions.

The central bank later provided another extension to such PAs, allowing them to submit their applications by September 30, 2022. 

In the latest release, the RBI also advised all stakeholders to transact only with those PAs who have been granted in-principle authorisation or whose application is currently under process.

Meanwhile, the central bank is also looking at extending the online PA guidelines to offline players as well.

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