India's first payments Bank, Airtel Payments Bank today announced that they had enabled 100 villages across Tamil Nadu to go cashless as part of its endeavour to take its banking services deep into rural/unbanked areas and contribute to financial inclusion in the country. All the 100 villages will now have access to essential banking services and the option of making digital payments, making them less reliant on cash.
Every village now has at least one Airtel Payment Bank outlet that provides convenient banking services including cash deposits and withdrawals, and seamless money transfer facility. The majority of the village households now have a savings account with Airtel Payments Bank and can bank/transact even with basic feature phones.
Merchants/shops in the village accept digital payments via mobile phones from Airtel Payments Bank customers. Also, farmers/small artisans in the village have been trained to accept digital payments for their produce/goods/services.
Residents of these communities no longer have to travel vast distances to access a bank and no longer need to keep their money at home and worry about its safety. They are also able to earn a healthy interest rate on their savings deposits. Most households in these villages have one or more family member working in cities/towns across the country, and they can now receive money transfers from family members/friends conveniently.
Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank said, “We are delighted to have taken formal banking services to these remote rural pockets of Tamil Nadu. We are fully committed to the vision of Digital India & financial inclusion. We shall further leverage our strong rural retail network to enable digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones through this initiative.”
Till date, over 100,000 savings accounts have been opened with Airtel Payments Bank across Tamil Nadu. A network of over 16,000 neighbourhood Airtel stores across the State act as banking points and offer basic banking services to customers.
Airtel Payments Bank will not charge any processing fee from its users and merchants partners for digital merchant transactions, thereby encouraging them to adopt cashless payments.
Airtel Payments Bank has committed an investment of Rs. 3000 crore across its national operations and plans to build a digital payments ecosystem with over 5 million merchants. Over one million merchants have already been onboard across India.
Airtel Payments Bank, a fully digital and paperless bank, aims to take banking services to the doorstep of every Indian by leveraging Airtel’s vast retail network with massive reach in rural pockets. Airtel Payments Bank currently has a network of over 250,000 neighbourhood Airtel retail stores, which also function as banking points. This is more than the total number of ATMs in the country. The Bank aims to scale its network to 600,000 banking points across the country.
Airtel Payments Bank’s services can be accessed by customers on their feature phones as well through USSD by dialling *400#; or via a simple IVR by dialling 400. Both the USSD & IVR options are available in 12 local languages. Customers can also access services by dialling 8800688006 in addition to visits to any designated Airtel retail outlet to access services.