RBI’s decision to grant Payment Bank licences to various business conglomerates and non-banking institutions may prove to be the one of the most pathbreaking decisions ever.
A decade earlier, which financial expert could have imagined a future of banking, wherein the money in the account would determine your talktime!
Airtel, which recently beat Paytm to launch India’s first payment bank has introduced a new feature into its banking bouquet, which is first such banking initiative.
Bank Balance = Talktime in Mobile
Airtel’s payment bank is offering a Rupee of talktime for every rupee deposited in the bank account.
Hence, if a Airtel Bank’s new customer deposits Rs 2000 into his bank account, then Rs 2000 worth of talktime would be provided in that person’s Airtel phone.
Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank said, “We are leveraging Airtel’s telecom ecosystem to bring banking services to the doorsteps of every Indian. We are confident that this additional benefit along with the industry-best interest rate on deposits will encourage customers to open accounts with us and give a big boost to customer acquisition.”
Note here, that Airtel’s mobile number would be the bank account number of the user, hence, implementing this offer won’t be an issue. The talktime would be applicable for all calls made insider India; and only first time deposits can be converted into talktime. Thus, it is a one-time offer.
Airtel Bank Expansion Plans
As of now, Airtel Bank’s features can be used across 10,000 merchants in Rajasthan, as their payments bank has only been launched in that state as of now. As per Shashi, Airtel will soon bring in more than a lakh merchants and traders into their platform, which will ensure wider acceptance and usage of their payment banks.
The merchants have been promised that there would be no additional charge for accepting payments via Airtel Payment Bank.
Right now, Airtel is offering 7.25% on deposits made in their payment bank (savings account), which has been described as ‘highest in the industry’.
Along with their high interest rate and innovative offers like talktime based on deposits, Airtel is aiming for maximum outreach.
Earlier, Airtel announced a blockbuster start of their payments bank as they were able to add 10,000 new customers within 2 days of their launch. Kotak Mahindra owns 19.9% stake in Airtel Payment Bank, as they have invested Rs 99 crore earlier this year.
The license of Airtel’s Payment Bank was granted by RBI to Airtel Money (Airtel’s mobile wallet) and Kotak Mahindra Bank in April this year, which made them first JV to receive the license.
All eyes are now set on Paytm which has been aggressively preparing for the launch of their own payment bank. Banking customers are certainly expecting lot more innovative features and new schemes, never seen or experienced in India before.
We will keep you updated.