India’s latest efforts to shift to digital payments and reduce the nation’s tight grip on cash are in the spotlight, following the government’s recent cash recall and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) giving its blessing to about a dozen digital payments startups. The newest, BHIM, is controlled by India’s government and is off to a fast start after its first week.
It remains to be seen if the newcomers will help or hurt momentum for Paytm, which launched in 2014 to become one of the most ambitious of India’s emerging digital payments operators. Paytm this week said it’s received permission from the RBI to launch a digital bank, Paytm Payments Bank, which aims to extend a broad range of payments and financial services to consumers via computers and mobile devices. Paytm plans to soon reach “hundreds of millions” of unbanked consumers, the company said in a Jan. 3 blog post.