Fintech startup BharatPe’s sponsor banks ICICI Bank and Yes Bank have asked it to stop collecting deposits from merchants using their names, The move comes amid heightened scrutiny by the Reserve Bank of India of the burgeoning digital payments ecosystem.
Sponsor banks provide payment companies with nodal accounts used for instant settlement of funds. BharatPe’s app provides a deposit feature, allowing merchants to lock their money with it in return for interest earnings of “up to 12%”.
As per RBI’s guidelines on P2P lending, platforms that facilitate such loans cannot take risks of default on their own balance sheets. “An email communication was sent last month by ICICI Bank directing BharatPe to stop using the name of the banks while asking merchants to make deposits,” said one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter.