State Bank of India and Bharti airtel, India’s largest telecommunications company, today announced that they have entered into a Joint Venture (JV) agreement to make available banking services to India’s unbanked millions.
The JV as Business Correspondent will engage airtel’s retailers as Customer Service Points (CSP) all over India in a phased manner.
With this, existing and new airtel mobile customers will be able to visit these outlets and open new SBI bank accounts and avail of other banking products and services available at the CSPs. Additionally, existing SBI customers will also get serviced at these outlets.
This partnership between India’s leading mobile and banking service providers represents a first-of-its-kind collaboration aimed at making the concept of inclusive banking a reality for customers in India.The JV incorporation between SBI and airtel will be concluded by 31st March, 2011.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti airtel said, “This historic collaboration between SBI and airtel brings together two sectors that have made the most impact in addressing inclusive growth. The services offered by the JV will enable financial inclusion and economic empowerment for people across India. This will be a complete game changer, leveraging SBI’s expertise in the banking sector along with airtel’s 150 million strong customer base and ecosystem of over 1.5 million retailers and distributors across India. Together, we will create a scalable operation that will address the banking requirements of millions of Indians through the mobile platform.”