[MUMBAI] Vodafone Group Plc's Indian unit said on Tuesday it had applied to the country's central bank for a permit to operate a payments bank, which are aimed at bringing basic banking services within the reach of millions.
Vodafone India Ltd is exploring options for partnerships, it said in a statement.
As of Monday's deadline, the Reserve Bank of India received 41 applications for payments banks, which can take deposits but are not allowed to lend, it said in a separate statement.
For another category of new banks called small finance banks, the central bank received 72 applications, it said.
The numbers could be revised, the RBI said.
Two external panels will evaluate the applications for payments banks and small finance banks, the RBI said. It did not say when it will name the permit winners.