Bharti Airtel to expand payments bank pilots to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Karnataka (1 Viewer)

rahul1117kumar

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Airtel is looking to extend its payments bank pilot project to Andhra Pradesh , Telangana and Karnataka in the next couple of weeks, to test out the services before a pan-India roll out.

The company planning around 20,000 Airtel outlets as banking points in AP and Telangana, and 15,000 in Karnataka, the company said Sunday.

Over a lakh customers have already opened savings account with Airtel Payments Bank in less than two weeks of the first payments bank pilot going live in Rajasthan with close to 70% accounts being opened in rural areas, the company added. Airtel has launched India’s first ever payment bank through the pilot in Rajasthan.

“Our network allows us to take our banking services closer to the customer. We are also getting a good response from merchants and have further accelerated their onboarding," Shashi Arora, MD and CEO, Airtel Payments Bank said in the statement.

Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of the country's leading mobile phone operator Bharti Airtel, rolled out pilot services across 10,000 Airtel retail outlets in Rajasthan in Novemeber. It facilitates cashless purchases of goods and services through mobile phones, giving an impetus to the digital payments ecosystem amidst the cash crunch effected by demonetisation.

The payments bank offers basic banking services to customers by leveraging Airtel’s retail network. It offers highest annual interest rate of 7.25% and an insurance of Rs 1 lakh per account.

Two-thirds of these banking points across Rajasthan are in rural areas.

The bank plans to have a network of 100,000 shops across Rajasthan by the end of the year. All these outlets will accept digital payments via Airtel Bank using a mobile phone without charging any processing fee. One can open an account using e-KYC through Aadhar card and can then deposit and withdraw cash.

However, they cannot borrow because a payments bank is not allowed to provide loans.

Customers can check their account balance, access other services using Airtel Money app on smartphones, or through USSD or IVR on featurephones phones.

The payments bank also offers one minute of Airtel mobile talk time for every rupee deposited while opening an account.

Airtel Payments Bank: Bharti Airtel to expand payments bank pilots to three Indian states, Telecom News, ET Telecom
 

rahul1117kumar

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Airtel Payments Bank crosses 100,000 savings accounts in less than 2 weeks; to extend pilot to southern states

Having opened over one lakh savings accounts within a fortnight of launch of its pilot services in Rajasthan, Airtel Payments Bank is gearing up to extend the services to southern states starting this week. “We are getting into South India within a week… a couple of states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka,” Airtel Payments Bank CEO Shashi Arora told PTI .

Airtel Payments Bank is the first payments bank in India to go live. Arora said these states have a deep rural market where the opportunity to offer banking benefit to financially excluded and the unbanked population is large. “We would be rolling out with about 20,000 retail outlets in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana combined, and another 15,000 or so, in Karnataka,” he said.

These retail outlets will act as banking access points and offer banking services, including eKYC-led onboarding, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, he added. Arora added that it is a “matter of just a few weeks” before Airtel Payments Bank launches services across India. “The fact that we have presence in telecom circles across India, gives the payment bank the ability to scale up significantly in a short span of time,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a statement, Airtel Payments Bank said it has opened over 100,000 savings accounts within a fortnight of rollout of its pilot services in Rajasthan. Close to 70 percent of these accounts opened are in rural areas, highlighting the massive scope for serving customers in unbanked and under-banked pockets, the statement added. In Rajasthan, Airtel Payments Bank is rolling out pilot services across 10,000 Airtel retail outlets, which also act as banking points. Airtel Payments Bank plans to have a network of 100,000 merchants (shops) across Rajasthan by the end of the year. All these merchants will accept digital payments via Airtel Payments Bank using a mobile phone.

With the objective of deepening financial inclusion, RBI kicked off an era of differentiated banking with SFB (small finance bank) and PB (payments bank), and 21 entities, including 11 for payments bank, were given in-principle nod last year. Later, three entities — Tech Mahindra, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company and a consortium of Dilip Shanghvi, IDFC Bank and Telenor Financial Services — backed out of the payments bank licensing. Payments banks can accept deposits and savings bank deposits from individuals and small businesses, up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account.

Airtel Payments Bank crosses 100,000 savings accounts in less than 2 weeks; to extend pilot to southern states
 

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