RBI Grants In-Principle Approval To 32 Entities To Act As Online Payment Aggregator

Over 50 applications to operate as online aggregators were also returned by the RBI.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>RBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Photo: BQ Prime)</p></div>
RBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Photo: BQ Prime)

The Reserve Bank of India has granted a total of 32 in-principle authorisations to existing payment aggregators, or PAs, to operate as online payment aggregators, according to a press statement issued by the central bank.

RBI also granted a total of 19 new online PA authorisations to firms including Groww Pay Services, Juspay Technologies, Mswipe Technologies, Tata Payments, and Zoho Payment Technologies. The approvals were granted as on Feb. 15.

On the other hand, existing PAs such as PayU Payments, Paytm Payment Services, and Freecharge Payment Technologies had their applications returned by the RBI. The three firms are allowed to file a fresh application 120 days from the date of return. While Freecharge's application was returned on Feb. 10, 2022; PayU and Paytm had theirs returned on Jan. 10, 2023, and Nov. 25, 2022, respectively.

Payment aggregators provide payment-related services to merchants by bundling up different modes of payment and packaging them in a central solution. Guidelines governing PAs were first issued by the RBI in March 2020. The rules governing online payment aggregators were added in March 2021. Firms were required to file their applications with the RBI by September 2022.

Pine Labs, Razorpay, Zomato, Amazon (Pay) India, Google India Digital Services, Cashfree Payments, and Stripe India are among the existing PAs that have been granted in-principle authorisation to operate as online payment aggregators.

Even though Cashfree and Razorpay have in-principle approval, they are restricted from onboarding new merchants until the RBI notifies otherwise, the statement said.

Over 50 applications to operate as online aggregators were also returned by the RBI with the requirement to halt online PA activity within 180 days from the date of return of the application. These include Ola Financial Services, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. or IRCTC, Khatabook, KredX, and Rupifi.

PhonePe and Instamojo are among 18 existing payment aggregators whose online PA applications are currently under review. Similarly, nine fresh online PA applications are also under processing, including those of Sodexo SVC India and SBI Payment Services, according to the notification.