Several payment providers such as Razorpay, Pine Labs, Stripe, and 1Pay have received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for payment aggregator licences. More players are expected to get the central bank’s nod for the licence, people in the know said.
Payment aggregators are entities that enable e-commerce sites and merchants to accept various payment instruments from customers for completion of their payment obligations, without the need for merchants to create a separate payment integration system of their own.
They allow merchants to connect with acquirers. In the process, they receive payments from customers, pool and transfer them on to the merchants after a time period.
Back in 2020, RBI issued guidelines that said only firms approved by the regulator can acquire and offer payment services to the merchants. While banks do not need separate approvals, non-bank entities offering payment aggregator services had to apply for authorisation to the RBI by June 2021, which was later extended. The central bank had, however, allowed them to continue their operations till they received communication from the regulator regarding the fate of their application.
After RBI came in with the guidelines for payment aggregators, there were reports that a host of firms have applied to the RBI for a payment aggregator license, including the likes of Amazon, Tata Group, Reliance Industries, PhonePe, BharatPe, and others.
According to RBI guidelines, payment aggregators need to have a net worth of Rs 15 crore as on March 2021, and a net worth of Rs 25 crore by on or before March 2023. And, they have to maintain a net worth of Rs 25 crore at all times thereafter.
An email sent to Razorpay did not elicit a response till the time of going to press. Pine Labs could not be immediately reached for a comment on the development.