Airtel Payments Bank, the only profitable multi-segment fintech in India with a banking license, has come a long way since its inception, step by step. Airtel Payments Bank, which provides various simple, secure, and accessible banking solutions through a vast network of 500,000 banking points across the nation, and its digital platforms, now caters to over 56 million customers. Sunil Bharti Mittal, the chairman of the Bharti Group, in an interview with ET Telecom, has shared some insights about the group's financial arm.
Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank Deposits Grew by 50% Over Last Year
Airtel Payments Bank is Profitable
Payments banks were initially introduced in India to provide financial inclusion to the unbanked and underserved sections of society. Sunil Mittal shared that Airtel Payment is the group's fintech arm which leads the financial inclusion model. Airtel Payments Bank has got 56 million customers now with a revenue of over Rs 1,500 crores and is profitable.
"In FY23-24, to my mind, it will really start to shine a lot. And in FY24-25, we'll be getting into the eighth year of operations. In 10 years' time, you're supposed to list and bring about some shareholding readjustments," the report quoted Mittal sharing insights.
Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank launches BizKhata for Small Businesses and Merchants
Government Policy and Listing Plans
Mittal said Airtel Payments Bank (APB) is much bigger than Fino today, which is already listed, and he expects APB to be 10x of Fino in the next few years. Regarding listing plans, he said, "As we move towards listing, it becomes imperative to introduce greater separation. At this juncture, or even earlier, it would be desirable for the government and RBI to consider permitting payments banks to provide small-scale lending services. Such a frugal bank would not engage in corporate lending but rather focus on meeting the credit needs of Tier 2 and Tier 3 segments through small-ticket lending."
According to Mittal, Airtel Payments Bank is not looking to be something on the lines of Google Pay or WhatsApp Pay as the space is too crowded and very capital intensive.
Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank and Paycraft Solutions to Set Up AFC System for Surat Metro
Recent Developments with Airtel Payments Bank
A few of the recent Payments Bank developments include partnering with Delhi Metro and launching BizKhata for Small Businesses and Merchants. Just earlier today, Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation announced that Airtel Payments Bank and PayCraft Solutions will set up the AFC system at the upcoming 38 stations of the Surat Metro and execute digital payment solutions at these metro stations via the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) and Mobile QR ticketing.
Also Read: Airtel Payments Bank Users Can Now Top-up Delhi Metro Smart Cards
Recently, MeitY, Government of India, has awarded Airtel Payments Bank with DigiDhan Award for onboarding maximum merchants on digital payment modes in aspirational districts in private sector banks.