Paytm clarifies license status, says no notice on investment in payments arm

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Paytm has in a statement refuted reports that the government has deferred approval for the fintech unicorn’s investment in its troubled payments arm.

The denial came after Reuters on April 16 cited officials and a document to report that India has deferred Paytm’s $6 million investment in Paytm Payments Services (PPSL). As per the report, India is concerned about Chinese shareholding in One 97 Communications, the parent of Paytm.

In its blog post, titled ‘Government Champions Fintech: Paytm’s PPSL License Journey Progresses’, it said they are “dedicated to providing users with uninterrupted payment experience” and harkened to Paytm’s “pioneering mobile payments, QR technology and Soundbox devices” initiatives in India.

What Has Paytm Said?

However, in a statement, Paytm called the Reuter report “speculative”, adding that the government “has consistently championed fintech initiatives”.

“The source-based information appears speculative, as the government has consistently championed fintech initiatives. The ongoing application process has seen us promptly provide the requested information, with no indication of rejection or penalties involved,” a Paytm spokesperson said in the statement.

“Aligning with the government’s vision, supporting Paytm as a homegrown entity is pivotal for empowering Indian companies to compete globally and drive technological advancements. Their backing ensures seamless payment services for SMEs, preserving trust and fostering digital growth for businesses and consumers,” it added.

The statement also addressed the Chinese shareholding, adding: “Paytm, an Indian company founded by an Indian citizen, with our Founder CEO as the largest shareholder and sole SBO (Significant Beneficial Owner) of One 97 Communications Limited (OCL), underscores its commitment to indigenous entrepreneurship and innovation. All KMPs (Key Managerial Personnel) and Board members of OCL are of Indian origin, with Antfin having no Board representation or special rights. As clarified, the formation of PPSL, transfer of online payments business, and the investment of 500 million were undertaken to comply with RBI’s regulations.”

With regards to ownership of the company, the statement said Founder-CMD Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the single-largest shareholder of OCL with an aggregate shareholding of 19.4 percent, including shares held by his wholly-owned companies. Ant Financial reduced its stake in OCL to less than 10 percent in August 2023, it added.

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Pooja Gupta

CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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CA Pooja Gupta (CA, ISA, having 15 years of experience. Educator and Digital Creator

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