“Keeping in view the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure smooth functioning of the payments ecosystem, it has since been decided to allow another window to all such PAs (existing as on March 17, 2020) to apply to RBI,” the regulator said in a notification on Thursday.
The regulator added that such entities can apply to the RBI by September 30, 2022 and will need to have a net worth of Rs 15 crore as on March 31, 2022.
“They shall be permitted to continue their operations till they receive communication from RBI regarding the fate of their application,” it said.
The RBI had returned some applications made by payment aggregators after they failed to comply with the minimum net worth criteria of Rs 15 crore by March 31, 2021. Due to which they had to discontinue their operations within a period of six months from the date the application was returned.
The regulator noted that though these companies had the option to apply afresh on meeting the prescribed criteria, ceasing operations may lead to disruption in payment systems. Also some payment aggregators failed to seek license due to non-fulfilment of eligibility criteria. Keeping all these issues in mind the regulator said to would open another window to seek licenses. However, it said that the timeline to achieve net worth of Rs 25 crore remains unchanged.
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. More than 185 fintech enterprises and startups submitted their proposals for a payment aggregator license, under the central bank’s strict evaluation process. So far, Razorpay, 1Pay, Innoviti and Stripe have received a license.