One 97 Communications is resigned to losing its associate, Paytm Payments Bank, the entity at the centre of the crisis surrounding the fintech. However, it feels that if there is even a slight chance of its survival through an acquisition, then it is ready to take it.

Sources said that the outlook for the bank looked bleak at the present, but there is still hope to eventually convince the regulator through ‘good behaviour’ to ease some restrictions. If the bank is given a chance to survive through acquisition, if there is a way for it to thrive, Paytm is willing for that to happen. Having worked hard to establish and create a thriving ecosystem, it wants the bank to continue to exist, even if it changes hands.

Any such sale, though, would be at the discretion and approval of the RBI.

Paytm Payments Bank, which has not been allowed to onboard new merchant customers for the last two years, has been barred from accepting deposits and credit transactions from March 15. The new restrictions mean that Paytm Wallet, which has around 330 million customers, and FASTag, in which it is the market leader, will cease to exit from March 15.

At stake is 2.5 million FASTag users, 6 crore Paytm wallet users who use it to make daily payments, and 7 lakh of NCMC users who used it for their travel purposes, and small payments at local stores.

While the fintech is racing against time to fix the lapses and violations that the RBI has pointed out, it is still seeking the reason the regulator took such harsh action.

Lost in translation

Sources in the know of developments pointed out that Paytm may not have had a chance to review the full audit report detailing the payment bank’s violations. The sources also mentioned that it ‘ran out of time’ to fix the problems, prompting the RBI crackdown.

The sources cannot be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

In all its engagements with the RBI, the fintech received observations and pointers regarding violations and lapses, to which the company responded with solutions. There is a feeling that some things may have been ‘lost in translation,’ hence the continuing violations.

The fintech has been under the scanner of the regulator since its inception in 2017 and has been pulled up numerous times, among other things, for KYC violations and for surpassing minimum transaction limits in prepaid instruments.