In the September quarter of this year, Airtel Payments Bank (APB) turned profitable. Now, it plans to double its business correspondents network across the country and drive monetisation via a combination of internet-based income and transactions apart from boosting revenues from cash management services in the B2B segment, revealed senior industry executives familiar with the matter.
Airtel Payments Bank Poised to Grow
Over the next 12 months, APB is eyeing to double its pan-India business correspondents network to one million from the existing 0.5 million. To get the necessary reach to serve the remittances market, as well as, Aadhaar-enabled payment services business to serve several millions of potential users in tier 3 and other markets, claimed a report by ET Telecom citing the executives.
Business analysts expect the upcoming expansion to widen its APBs total distribution reach that is already twice the number of total ATMs and bank branches in India. In turn, the company will consolidate the leadership it owns in the remittances market.
Notably, in the September quarter, the Airtel Payments Bank turned PAT-positive. This followed a 16% sequential growth accounting for 31.2 million in the monthly transacting user base. This accounted for a 25% on-quarter leap in its gross merchandise value (GMV), taking it to Rs 32,1000 crore. Eventually, its revenue reached close to Rs 1,000 crore on a yearly basis.
As per the estimates of the company insiders, the remittances market is poised to grow at a rate of 70% in the coming years. Also, the Aadhaar-enabled payment services businesses are also poised to grow by 45% annually in four years from now.
IIFL Securities witnesses a strong revenue generation potential, especially in the B2B segment via cash management services. This happened since APB’s take rate at 0.74% is the maximum in the payments banking space. Notably, the take rate is a measure to convert its GMV into revenue.
Recently, Gopal Vittal, the managing director of Bharti Airtel, stated that the e-commerce market’s growth is likely to boost the demand for cash management from APB. Besides this, in December 2020, Sunil Mittal, the chairman of Bharti Airtel, stated that they might upgrade the payments bank licence to that of a small finance bank to step into the leading business.