Paytm CEO Meets Finance Minister: Key Discussions on RBI Compliance

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On February 6, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a brief 10-minute meeting with Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma. According to sources familiar with the matter, Sharma discussed the company’s stance on issues raised by the RBI during the meeting. Sitharaman emphasized the importance of addressing these concerns with the RBI to resolve the identified non-compliances.

During the meeting, Sharma reportedly requested an extension of the February 29 deadline, a transition plan, and outlined the steps being taken to meet the regulatory compliances. Paytm expressed apprehension about the prohibition on adding money to Paytm Payments Bank accounts and wallets after February 29, as well as the Fastag ban. They highlighted potential disruptions, especially for accounts with standing instructions and linkages to other accounts, causing inconvenience to customers.

In a recent interview with TOI, Sitharaman mentioned that the interaction between the regulator and the company is their responsibility. She refrained from providing further comments. Earlier the same day, Paytm’s top executives met with RBI officials to update them on compliance efforts and seek clarification on the new directive.

A major concern for Paytm revolves around retaining the virtual payment address @paytm for both app users and merchants, along with facilitating the one-time migration of merchant bank accounts. During discussions with the RBI, the company argued that non-KYC wallets are a legacy issue from the demonetization period, when minimal KYC requirements allowed for the opening of digital wallets with basic details.

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