Bharti Airtel owned Airtel Digital Limited has said that it will purchase a 10 per cent stake in Tata Group’s Ferbine Private Limited for Rs 500 billion. With this investment, Airtel will own a stake in the pan-India umbrella entity (PUE) which has been formed to provide competition to the National Payments Council of India (NPCI).

Airtel’s stake purchase in Ferbine is expected to be completed on or before March 5, 2021.

HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have also purchased 9.99 per cent stakes each in Ferbine.

Earlier in August 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had invited applications to set up the PUE which will be entitled to set up, manage and operate new payment systems in the retail space including ATMs, PoS, Aadhaar-based payments and remittance services.

The last date to submit applications for PUE was extended to March 31, 2021. As per RBI guidelines, all applicants must have at least three years of experience in the payments space, and a minimum paid-up capital of Rs 5 billion to be eligible to apply.