Airtel has announced the pilot launch of their payments bank in Rajasthan, thereby beating Paytm in the race to launch India’s first such bank.
Thousands of Airtel outlets across Rajasthan has thus been converted into Airtel’s new banking outlets, wherein their customers can open accounts, transfer money and perform other banking operations which are currently available with Airtel.
This pilot launch has been deliberately planned as low-scale and only covers Rajasthan as of now. This launch will inform Airtel about the shortcomings and loopholes, and will prepare them for full scale India launch next year.
Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank said,” With this pilot, we have taken a big step towards the launch of our banking services and will be testing our operational readiness for full-scale launch across India. We would also like to use feedback from our customers to further improve our processes and look forward to serving them.”
Airtel and Kotak Mahindra had earlier received first such license for opening a payments bank. In September last year, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had claimed that they will launch India’s first payments bank, which proved otherwise.
9 Features of Airtel’s Payments Bank
- Both Airtel and non-Airtel customers can visit any Airtel outlet, and open their bank account
- No documents is required to open a new bank account, except Aadhaar Card number. Hence, Airtel has devised the quickest way to open a bank account in India
- Airtel number would act as the bank account number for the Airtel customer. While a unique number would be assigned to non-Airtel customers as account number.
- Airtel is right now providing an interest of 7.25% for domestic savings
- Customers can transfer money to any bank account using this payments bank service; and Airtel to Airtel money transfer would be free
- Airtel is providing free accidental insurance policy worth Rs 1 lakh with every new bank account
- Airtel customers can access banking services via Airtel Money app, via USSD by dialing *400# and by IVR (calling 400). Whereas non-Airtel customers can access banking services by calling 8800688006.
- Money can deposited and withdrawn from any Airtel outlet, across the country (across Rajasthan as of now)
- Payments Bank by Airtel is fully digital and paperless as of now, which means there won’t be any ATM or check book issued
Very smartly, Airtel has planned to leverage their massive retail network of 15 lakh outlets across India. Once Airtel’s Payments Bank is launched across India, each of these 15 lakh outlets would convert into a bank branch for their bank customers.
All eyes are now set on Paytm and other entities which have earlier received the approval to launch their own payments bank.
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