The company said in a statement on Thursday that through this venture, it is looking to expand the scope of digital payments in India by taking it to a much larger user base than currently in existence. The company said in a statement on Thursday that through this venture, it is looking to expand the scope of digital payments in India by taking it to a much larger user base than currently in existence. (Representative image)

So Hum Bharat Digital Payments, founded by industry executive Navin Surya and backed by Infibeam Avenues, will apply for a licence to set up a new umbrella entity (NUE) for retail payments.

The company said in a statement on Thursday that through this venture, it is looking to expand the scope of digital payments in India by taking it to a much larger user base than currently in existence.

The company is understood to be in talks for partnering with banks and non-bank players with a significant presence in the payments system and will likely focus on markets in rural and far-flung locations.

Vishwas Patel, executive director, Infibeam Avenues, said at present, there are more than 850 million individuals, constituting almost the entire adult population in the country, who are digitally empowered. “One of the major considerations of this venture has been our earnest desire to be part of this ecosystem that is expected to deliver the most impactful market expansion in the country through a 6x increase in active digital consumers over the next decade from the current base of 100 million to 600 million,” he said.

Surya, who is also chairman emeritus of the Payments Council of India, said, “I believe we have a huge opportunity to make digital payments natural, effortless and invisible in our economy just like our breath is natural, effortless and invisible to our body. This also is the philosophy behind So Hum.”

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of India issued a framework for setting up for-profit or non-profit bodies to operate retail payment systems, ostensibly as rivals to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The systems thus set up must, nonetheless, be interoperable with NPCI’s systems. Institutions such as State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Jio and Paytm are all known to be looking to set up entities under the new framework.

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