Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon, others now NPCI shareholders; may get more say in UPI future

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Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, others now NPCI shareholders; may get more say in UPI future:

The entry of non-banking and parent companies of digital payment companies such as Paytm Payments Bank, One Mobikwik Systems Private, Amazon Pay Indian Private, PhonePe Private and Pine Labs may give these players a shot at deciding the future shape of UPI and digital payments in India:

Amazon Pay India, PayU Payments. PhonePe, Pine Labs, Paytm Payments Bank, IDFC First Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, etc., have 0.44 per cent shareholding each while MobiKwik and India Post Payments Bank have 0.04 per cent shareholding each.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday announced widening its shareholding base to 67 entities with the completion of the private placement of 4.63 per cent of its equity shares worth Rs 81.64 crores. The new entities included Amazon Pay, Paytm Payment Bank, PhonePe, Mobikwik, Pine Labs, Standard Chartered Bank, IDFC First Bank, and more. The retail payments and settlement systems operator – NPCI had earlier this month offered the private placement to 131 ‘RBI regulated entities’ out of which 18 had evinced interest. The exercise, said NPCI, was intended to diversify its shareholding to a larger set of RBI regulated entities and categories of players in the payment ecosystem.

With this (share allotment) we have also broad-based our shareholding to include new categories like payment banks, small finance banks and payment system operators in addition to the existing public sector, private sector, foreign, co-operative & regional rural banks,” said Rupesh H Acharya, Chief of Finance, NPCI in a statement. NPCI — an initiative of the RBI and Indian Banks’ Association works towards enabling innovation in the retail payment systems through technology for efficiency in operations and expanding the reach of digital payment systems in India.

According to the latest shareholding pattern, as of November 26, 2020, including the new additions, Amazon Pay India, PayU Payments. PhonePe, Pine Labs, Paytm Payments Bank, IDFC First Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, etc., have 0.44 per cent shareholding each while MobiKwik and India Post Payments Bank, have 0.04 per cent holding each.

NPCI had earlier widened its shareholding back in 2016 to 56 banks from 10 banks including 15 private banks, 1 foreign bank, 13 public banks, 7 regional rural banks, and 10 multistate co-operative banks, according to its 2016 statement. The 10 banks having shares in NPCI then and now are SBI, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Citibank, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Bank of India, and HSBC. Union Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, and Punjab National Bank had the highest percentage of shareholding – 9.15 per cent each. SBI, Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC Bank, HSBC, Citibank have 7.12 per cent holding each.

Though traditional banks such as the State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank remain the bigger players for now, other older players such as Standard Chartered Bank, Dhanlaxmi Bank, and IDFC First Bank have found seats at the expanded table. New entrants to the banking system such as Suryoday Small Finance Bank and Capital Small Finance Bank are also in the expanded list of NPCI, which now has 67 shareholders.

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