Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Monday that he will meet chiefs of payments banks later this week to understand their issues. As many as seven payments banks have commenced their operations after the first set of licences were issued in 2015.
"I have started a process of very active engagement with stakeholders and players who are supposed to play these kind of roles. I have met (top officials) banks, cooperative banks, NBFCs and various other stakeholders. I met the (heads) small finance banks last week and later part of this week I am meeting payments banks also," he said at an event organised by NITI Aayog here.
The central bank has undertaken a detail consultation process with them and discussed issues, he said.
Observing that the developments in the spheres of banking technology and trade finance have been commendable, he said that alternative models of lending and capital raising are coming up, and have the potential to change the market dynamics of traditional lenders as well as the role of traditional intermediaries.
"Crowd-funding, which entails raising external finance from a large group of investors, is at a very nascent stage in India. The peer-to-peer (P2P) lending for which RBI has issued Master Direction in October 2017, has the potential to improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises. Eleven entities have been licensed to operate P2P platform," he said.
Mr Das also said the RBI has granted licenses and permitted seven purely digital loan companies (NBFCs) to commence operations.
"Although they are purely digital players operating through mobile applications, we have ensured that they have at least one physical presence for customers to reach out to in case of need," he said.
Appreciating the role of fintech companies, the RBI governor said they can further widen financial inclusion in the country by reducing costs and making formal financial services accessible to a large number of people.
There has been a focused effort to develop a proper national payments infrastructure and technology platforms such as Immediate Payments Service, Unified Payments Interface, Bharat Interface for Money, Bharat Bill Pay System or Aadhaar-enabled Payment System, he said.
"This has changed the retail payments scenario of the country. The total volume of retail electronic payments witnessed about nine-fold increase over the last five years," he said.
Reeling out other numbers, the RBI governor said the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) system handled 195 crore transactions valued at around Rs 172 lakh crore in 2017-18 growing by 4.9 times in terms of volume and 5.9 times in terms in terms of value over the previous five years.
Similarly, the number of transactions carried out through credit and debit cards in 2017-18 was 141 crore and 334 crore, respectively, he said, adding, prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) recorded a volume of about 346 crore transactions, valued at Rs 1.4 lakh crore.