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Airtel Payments Bank Launched Pan-India With 2.5 Lakh Banking Points; 7.25% Interest On Savings A/C Is Highest In India

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Airtel Payments Bank

Airtel Payments Bank, which was India’s 1st payments bank when they launched their operations in Rajasthan last November, has now been launched pan-India. Airtel has converted their 250,000 retail outlets into banking points, thereby giving a massive reach on day 1 of their operations.

Airtel is offering 7.25% interest rate on saving accounts, which is highest in India as of now.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while launching pan-India operations of Airtel Payments Bank said, “Airtel payments bank is a convergence that was waiting to happen and moving forward, banking and digital transactions will increase in a less-cash economy.”

Inauguration of Airtel Payments Bank
Inauguration of Airtel Payments Bank (Image Credit: BusinessStandard.com)

Along with him, the following were also present during it’s launch: Gopal Vittal, CEO & MD (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises,  Uday Kotak Executive Vice Chairman & MD Kotak Mahindra Bank and Shashi Arora MD & CEO Airtel Payments Bank.

Kotak Mahindra Bank owns a minority stake in this venture, for providing banking expertise to them. Airtel has made it clear that they are willing to offload a stake for any new partner who is interested to join them.

Airtel Offering Highest Interest Rate on Saving Account

Right now, Airtel Payments Bank is offering 7.25% interest rate on saving accounts, which is highest in the country, beating all other existing banks. Most of the public banks are offering interest rates in the range of 3-4%; while few private sector banks are offering upto 6%.

Interestingly, although Paytm hasn’t yet revealed how much interest rate they will be offering when their Payments Bank is launched, their founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had earlier said that they would be offering more interest rate than any other bank in India.

Some rumors even claimed that Paytm may offer as high as 14.5% interest rate.

Advantage: Airtel’s Payments Bank

As per the guidelines issued by RBI when it gave licenses to 11 entities for opening up Payments Bank, these banks would be paperless, and without any full-fledged branches like that of ICICI Bank etc. However, Airtel has announced that their 250,000 outlets pan-India will convert into ‘banking points’, wherein customers can open their accounts, and also deposit money.

Shashi Arora, managing director and chief executive officer of Airtel Payments Bank, said, “We get reach through 1.5 million outlets from the telecom operations, of which almost 50% will become banking points in future.”

Airtel is planning to add around 25,000 accounts per week, as they will convert their 100 million userbase into bank account customers.

Airtel is also offering Rs 1 lakh accidental insurance to ever banking customer and free talktime equaling the amount deposited in the accounts.

Airtel has committed to invest Rs 3000 crore into their new Payments Bank for making it more robust, and to encourage its usage among merchants and traders. After their launch in Rajasthan, they have claimed to have 100,000 customers within 2 weeks.

We will keep you updated as more details come in.

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