Zerodha wants a payments bank licence, but the RBI isn’t keen

The Bengaluru-based brokerage wants to hold customer funds to build a faster payment system, but the central bank is wary of reopening what it sees as a failed experiment.

Zerodha has sought a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India, according to three executives aware of the matter. The Bengaluru-based stockbroker, in recent weeks, has held discussions with central bank officials to convince the regulator of their suitability to own and operate a payments bank, the executives say, requesting anonymity as these talks are private. 

However, as things stand, it is unlikely that the central bank would grant it a licence, two of the three executives add. 

In theory, a payments bank would help it hold its customer’s funds, enabling two things: first, less dependency on banks …


Ashwin Manikandan

Ashwin covered fintech and banking at The Morning Context. Previously, he was at The Economic Times, where he worked across the finance, tech and startup verticals, breaking stories related to India’s banking system, startups in the new economy, digital payments, insurance and cryptocurrencies.