RBI stops Paytm Payments Bank from accepting deposits after Feb 29

Mumbai: The RBI on Wednesday barred Paytm Payments Bank Ltd from accepting deposits or top-ups in any customer account, prepaid instruments, wallets, and FASTags, among others after February 29, 2024.

The Reserve Bank’s action against Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) follows a comprehensive system audit report and subsequent compliance validation report of the external auditors.

These reports revealed persistent non-compliance and continued material supervisory concerns in the bank, warranting further supervisory action, the RBI said in a statement.

The move by the central bank raises concerns about the operations of Paytm Payments Bank and signals a significant regulatory intervention in response to potential issues or non-compliance observed in the bank’s functioning.

RBI mentioned that it had directed PPBL to stop onboarding new customers with immediate effect on March 11, 2022. However, the central bank said subsequent compliance validation reports by external auditors revealed “persistent non-compliance” and continued material supervisory concerns in the bank.

Effective February 29, 2024, PPBL has been prohibited from accepting further deposits, engaging in credit transactions, or facilitating top-ups in any customer accounts, including prepaid instruments, wallets, FASTags, NCMC cards, etc.

The RBI said exceptions to this restriction include the allowance for interest, cashback, or refunds to be credited at any time.

Furthermore, customers of PPBL are permitted to withdraw or utilise balances from their accounts, encompassing savings bank accounts, current accounts, prepaid instruments, FASTags, National Common Mobility Cards, etc., without any restrictions, up to the extent of their available balance.

However, as of February 29, 2024, PPBL is restricted from offering any additional banking services beyond withdrawals and account utilisation. This includes the discontinuation of services such as fund transfers (including AEPS, IMPS, etc.), BBPOU, and UPI facilities.

“Additionally, all pipeline transactions and nodal accounts, related to transactions initiated on or before February 29, 2024, must be settled by March 15, 2024,” RBI said.

“No further transactions will be permitted beyond this settlement deadline. The RBI’s stringent directives underscore the regulatory measures aimed at ensuring compliance and safeguarding the interests of customers within the digital payment ecosystem,” the central bank added.