After the successful pilot runs, Airtel Payments Bank is all set to go LIVE across the country. It commences its national operations in all 29 states in India. Mr. Arun Jaitley, Honorable Union Minster of Finance and Corporate Affairs, formally launched service.
Speaking on the occasion, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises said, “With Airtel Payments Bank, we are starting another important chapter in our journey, with the potential to truly transform lives and contribute to financial inclusion in the country. Just like mobile telephony leapfrogged traditional telecom networks to take affordable telecom services deep into the country, Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones in a quick and efficient manner. Millions of Indians in rural areas will get their first formal banking experience with Airtel Payments Bank.”
Besides Mr. Mittal, Uday Kotak, Executive Vice Chairman & MD, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel; and Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank were present for the launch.
Airtel Payments Bank will provide banking services to the mass. From today, nearly 250,000 Airtel retail stores in India will also function as banking points. The customers can open savings accounts, make deposits and withdraw cash from these banking points. As a means to encourage digital transactions, Airtel charges no processing fee on customers and merchants partners for digital transactions.
There is also an app for the transactions. This can be accessed via MyAirtel app, Airtel’s smartphone app. Besides, customers can also avail an online card and this can be used across all e-merchants accepting MasterCard to make payments. Airtel will soon collaborate with other retail outlets like grocery shops, pharmacies, restaurants, etc. so that they accept digital payments from Airtel Payments Bank.
Moreover, there is a merchant app available on Play Store that will enable the merchants to become partners to Airtel Payment Banks.
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Airtel bank is completely paper-free. The customers can open the account using their Aadhaar numbers. The customer’s mobile number will be his/her account number. For the amount deposited in the savings account, Airtel offers an interest rate of 7.25% per annum.
One minute of Airtel mobile talk time for every rupee deposited at the time of opening a savings account is also offered. A free accidental insurance of one lakh is another benefit of Airtel Bank. Money can be transferred to any bank accounts in India. For people with lack of English language proficiency and no smartphone, USSD and IVR is provided in 12 languages.