To further promote financial inclusiveness and digital awareness, the RBI signalled that Jio Payments Bank can commence banking operations from Wednesday. The green light is expected to provide a greater impetus to Reliance Jio, eventually furthering the goal of a Digital India.
Digital India, one of the flagship programmes of the BJP-led NDA government, received a major fillip during the demonetisation drive in November 2016. Telecom major Bharti Airtel was one of the earliest entrants in to the payments bank space which launched operations in November 2016. PayTM, the most recognised brands in the digital economy, received sanctions to function as a payment bank in May 2017.
Reliance Jio, which has led to consolidation in the telecom sector, has over 175 million customers. With a strong focus on subscriber acquisition and retention, Jio has doubled its telecom market share to 13.71% as on December 2017, from its 6.40% in 2016, regulatory data shows. Reliance Industries was one of the 11 applicants that received an in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank in August 2015.
The move comes at a time when India’s Department of Posts is still running its services on a pilot basis despite receiving licenses to start operations formally.