Paytm, one of the most popular digital payment platforms in India, has been facing some regulatory hurdles in its operations. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL), the entity that manages Paytm wallets, to stop onboarding new customers and restrict some of its services after February 29, 2024. This move has raised many questions and concerns among Paytm users, who rely on the platform for various transactions and payments. Here’s what you need to know about the RBI’s order and its impact on Paytm wallet users.
Why Did RBI Impose Curbs on PPBL?
The RBI’s order came after it found several violations and non-compliances by PPBL in its audit reports. According to the RBI, PPBL had failed to adhere to the licensing conditions and operational guidelines for payments banks, and had also breached the norms for anti-money laundering and customer due diligence. The RBI also expressed serious supervisory concerns over the governance and risk management practices of PPBL, and said that it required additional supervisory action.
The RBI, therefore, invoked its powers under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, and directed PPBL to stop onboarding new customers and restrict some of its services with immediate effect. The RBI also asked PPBL to submit a detailed action plan to address the issues and deficiencies within 15 days.
What Services Will Be Affected by the RBI’s Order?
The RBI’s order will affect the following services offered by PPBL:
- Deposits: PPBL will not be able to accept any deposits from customers, including savings accounts, current accounts, prepaid cards, FASTags, National Common Mobility Cards, and other accounts, after February 29, 2024. However, customers can withdraw or use their existing balances without any restrictions.
- Credit Transactions: PPBL will not be able to process any credit transactions, such as fund transfers, bill payments, UPI payments, and other services, after February 29, 2024. However, customers can still receive interest, cashbacks, or refunds in their accounts at any time.
- Nodal Accounts: PPBL will have to close the nodal accounts of One97 Communications Ltd and Paytm Payment Services Ltd, the parent companies of Paytm, by February 29, 2024. These accounts are used to settle the transactions of Paytm merchants and customers. PPBL will also have to settle all the pipeline transactions and nodal accounts by March 15, 2024, and not allow any further transactions after that date.
What Services Will Not Be Affected by the RBI’s Order?
The RBI’s order will not affect the following services offered by PPBL:
- Paytm App: Customers can still use the Paytm app for various transactions and payments, such as recharges, ticket bookings, online shopping, and others, without any restrictions. The Paytm app is not regulated by the RBI, and operates independently of PPBL.
- Paytm Wallet: Customers can still use the Paytm wallet for adding funds and transferring money to other wallets or bank accounts, without any restrictions. The Paytm wallet is also not regulated by the RBI, and operates independently of PPBL. However, customers will not be able to add funds to their wallets through PPBL, and will have to use other methods, such as debit cards, credit cards, net banking, or UPI.
- Paytm Money: Customers can still use the Paytm Money app for investing in stocks, mutual funds, and other financial products, without any restrictions. The Paytm Money app is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and operates independently of PPBL.
- Paytm Loans: Customers can still avail loans through Paytm, without any restrictions. These loans are provided by third-party lenders, and are not affected by the RBI’s order. Customers will have to continue repaying their loans as per the terms and conditions.
What Should Paytm Customers Do?
Paytm customers should take the following steps in light of the RBI’s order:
- Use up or withdraw their existing balances in their PPBL accounts, such as savings accounts, current accounts, prepaid cards, FASTags, National Common Mobility Cards, and other accounts, before February 29, 2024.
- Switch to other methods of adding funds to their Paytm wallets, such as debit cards, credit cards, net banking, or UPI, instead of using PPBL.
- Link their UPI addresses to other bank accounts, instead of PPBL, if they want to continue using UPI payments after February 29, 2024.
- Be vigilant and cautious about any fraudulent or phishing messages or calls that may claim to be from Paytm or PPBL, and ask for their personal or financial details. Customers should not share their details or click on any suspicious links, and report any such incidents to Paytm or PPBL.
Paytm wallet users face restrictions after February 29, 2024, due to the RBI’s order on PPBL. The order will affect some of the services offered by PPBL, such as deposits, credit transactions, and nodal accounts. However, the order will not affect the services offered by the Paytm app, Paytm wallet, Paytm Money, and Paytm loans. Paytm customers should take the necessary steps to safeguard their interests and continue using the platform without any hassle.