Paytm, a payment-wallet-to-e-commerce company, is in a fast track mode to launch its payments bank. The company will announce names of all top executives of the payments bank in the first week of March and is in the process of putting together the board for the bank.
"A lot of people have shown interest in joining our payments bank. Many of them are those who have left India and want to come back. So I have people from banks like Barclays who have joined," said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive and founder of Paytm, at the Nasscom summit. Our core team will not be more than 50-60 people but there will be a lot of associates and teammates, added Sharma. He believes the bank needs people who believe they can change the Indian banking sector. He said though there was a slight delay in launching the payments bank, the central bank has been friendly and is helping them drive the timeline.
When asked about what will be the key factor differentiating Paytm payments bank from its peers, Sharma said they would leverage the marketplace customer as well as data insights for the bank.
"Paytm has built a dominance in payments and we can continue to get most of the payments business portion. That is the edge that we have. Marketplace allows us to get access to merchants who are are critical customer base for our BFSI services. It also provides us valuable consumer insights for both consumers as well as merchants. We will create our products based on this information," added Sharma.
The company is getting aggressive in its banking venture and will soon make an announcement on the upcoming bank's distribution strategy. The company has named its efforts to roll the bank as project Pokhran. "We probably will start our payments bank from Meerut where India started its revolution for freedom. We will first go around that area and then expand to north east and central India," said Sharma.
In response to a question on Paytm's fundraising plans, Sharma said that the company has cash for the next eight years. "Our focus is on launching payments bank for now. Post which we may relook at our funding requirements," he added.