Razorpay And Pine Labs Get Nod From RBI For Payment Aggregator Licence

Online payment providers including Razorpay, and Pine Labs are among the top names which have received the in-principle nod from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last night for a payment aggregator license, according to multiple sources aware of the discussion.

This comes as over the past few months, the central bank has been holding presentations with payment gateways and other fintech firms that applied for a payment aggregator license.

The regulator has also been quick to inform companies whose licenses have been rejected

Now the RBI is expected to release a complete list of the players who have been approved to operate as payment aggregators in the country shortly, the above mentioned sources added.

The payment aggregator framework, introduced formally in March 2020, mandates that only firms approved by the RBI can acquire and offer payment services to merchants.

The firms authorised to operate as payment aggregators in India will come under the direct purview of the RBI while rendering payment services to merchants. This is a step that many industry insiders said would lead to a more standardised and regulated payments ecosystem.

RBI has been strict in its evaluation of entities which have applied for the payment aggregator license. Multiple online payment gateways seeking the aggregator license came under the intense scrutiny of the central bank for know your customer(KYC) related issues, past dealings with cryptocurrency exchanges and gaming apps, as well as for not complying with the net worth criteria that RBI had set out.

Payment aggregators are expected to show a net worth of Rs 15 crore on the date of their applications or as of March-end 2021, and of Rs 25 crore by the end of the ongoing fiscal year(FY23), according to the RBI rules.

At least 185 fintech firms including big names like Cred, Razorpay, and PhonePe had submitted proposals seeking payment aggregator licences.

The regulator has also been quick to inform companies whose licenses have been rejected. If an application is rejected, merchants have about three months to stop using a gateway’s service. The RBI is, however also thinking of extending this time frame to six months.