Reliance Industries may have plans to begin operations for the Jio Payments Bank before the year ends. Jio Payments Bank, which is a joint venture between Reliance Industries Limited and State Bank of India, will start its operations in December, Livemint reports.
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, wanted to launch Jio Payments Bank alongside the shipment of JioPhone, which he unveiled in July, the report said. But the RBI asked Jio Payments Bank to demonstrate its capabilities, and prove that it is fully compliant with the regulations before the launch, a factor which the report cited as the reason for the delay.
With the Jio Payments Bank, both Reliance Jio and SBI are eyeing last-mile customers, according to the report. Reliance Jio's network reaches several rural areas. Its JioPhone is also marketed to enrich the lives of people living in small towns and villages. According to the report, Reliance Jio is at present shipping the handset in remote areas, and will subsequently bring it to the urban markets. A person cited in the report said payments bank is not the core focus of Reliance Jio.
Airtel was the first company to roll out its payments bank in India. The Payments Bank is an audacious project from the Indian government to bring banking and financial services to much of the population in the country. First unveiled in 2014, a payments bank will allow customers to avail several banking features such as performing transactions from their smartphone and without ever going to a physical bank.
Anyone with an Aadhaar ID can open an account with a payments bank. According to UIDAI website, more than 1.18 billion people in India have been assigned with an Aadhaar card. SBI has over 400 million customers, while Reliance Jio has more than 120 million subscribers.