Paytm lets you buy milk and vegetables using your debit/credit cards
Paytm lets you buy milk and vegetables using your debit/credit cardsWikimedia commons

Mobile payment services and e-commerce firm Paytm has delayed the launch of its payments bank operations to the second half of 2016.

"The launch will happen only after June and not before that," Mint quoted Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma as saying on the sidelines of the Nasscom India Leadership Forum in Mumbai.

Sharma said the company has "underestimated a lot of things" in commencing payments bank services.

"By March first week, we will announce the top leadership team of the payments bank vertical," said Sharma.

He said Paytm would gain an "edge" over others in the segment as it already has a strong foothold in the payment business.

"We believe we have an edge, having built dominance in payments. We think we can lead there and continue to get most of the payment business," he said.

Paytm will have its banking headquarters in Noida (NCR), next to New Delhi, and plans to set up 20 branches for the payments bank.

The company has rolled out an internal project named "Project Pokhran" to recruit people and set up offices for payments bank services. Global consultants EY (Ernst & Young) and McKinsey are the advisers to the company for its new business.

In August last year, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive of One97 Communication, which owns Paytm, was among the 11 applicants to receive "in-principle" approval by the Reserve Bank of India to open payments banks.

A payments bank can accept cash deposits, permit remittances and roll out "simple financial products". It can accept savings deposits up to Rs 1 lakh from a customer, but a payments bank is not allowed to lend to customers, like commercial banks do.