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Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma talks about new KYC norms and Interoperability


Soon after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with a ruling that digital wallets will be interoperable through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) within six months, mobile wallet Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, expressed his views on laid roadmap interoperability.

“We will gain more customers. This is same as mobile phone number portability in the telecom sector.  People who have their money locked in other money wallets will now move to Paytm,” said Sharma in an interview to Business Standard.

He also thinks that the process would weed out non-serious wallet users. “This will help us in serving the ones who want our services”, he added.

The RBI said it will enable interoperability in phases, in the first phase it aims to make KYC compliance wallets interoperability through the UPI.

Talking about KYC, Sharma plans to invest around $500 million on KYC system of the wallet current and saving accounts over the next three years.

Central Bank also directed issuers of prepaid payment instruments (PPI) to ensure adherence to the technical and operational requirements. According to the new guidelines, all the PPIs will now be interoperable, which means it will allow a transaction with each other. It brought in fraud detection norms to prevent fake wallet transactions ­­ steps which will change the scope of operations for mobile wallets.

PPIs, after implementation, will limit cash loading to Rs 50000 a month. This might prove to be a hindrance for the wallet. But Sharma has other reasoning.

“I think this will motivate users to open a payments bank account where they can put much more money,” said Paytm founder.

Digital wallet aims to acquire 500 million new customers and launch a slew of financial services products such as deposits, wealth management, insurance and financial lending.

It plans to invest Rs10,000 crore over the next three to five years towards enabling half a billion Indians to join the mainstream economy. The firm claims to be net contributory margin-positive already. In May, Paytm raised 1.4 billion from Softbank.

It is a most well-funded startup in the country after Flipkart. Paytm has three long-term investors with SoftBank, Alibaba and SAIF Partners.


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