Airtel Payments Bank Officially Launched In 29 States Across India
Airtel has announced the launch of India’s first payments bank on Thursday, at an event in New Delhi where Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, formally launched the bank. Airtel Payments Bank is now live and operational across all 29 states in India.
Airtel’s payments bank is different from other banks in that over 250,000 Airtel stores spread across the 29 states will now function as banking points. Airtel also claims to have invested over Rs 3,000 crores in the network and has partnered with MasterCard to facilitate banking and cashless services in the country.
Airtel said that anyone, even non-Airtel customers with an Aadhaar card can open a Savings Account with Airtel Bank. It has also launched Airtel Payments Bank wallet (previously Airtel Money) that can be accessed through MyAirtel app and Online Card in collaboration with MasterCard for convenient banking and cashless payments.
A Digital Payments Bank service provides complete digital and paperless banking services such as opening account, cash deposit, withdrawal etc.
Airtel will also offer 7.25 percent interest on the deposits in the payments bank accounts, and this money can be transferred to any bank in India. Airtel will also not charge any fees for Airtel to Airtel money transfers. It will also not charge any processing fee for digital transactions via Airtel Payments Bank, and will offer a MasterCard-powered virtual debit card that can be used online. However, Airtel is not offering any ATM card or physical debit card – if you want to withdraw cash, you will need to go to an Airtel retail store.
Airtel has also claimed it is already working on developing nationwide merchant ecosystem of over five million partners including small Kirana stores, grocers, pharmacies, restaurants, etc. These merchant partners will accept digital payments from Airtel Payments Bank customers over mobile phones. Airtel Payments Bank has launched a Merchant App for digital onboarding of partners. If you want to become the merchant partner, you can download the app from Google PlayStore and start accepting digital payments right away.
As an opening offer, every Rupee deposited at the time of opening the account will translate to 1 minute of Airtel talktime.
The whole banking process at Airtel Payments Bank can be carried out digitally through an app (on both iOS and Android), but you can also use USSD and IVR to transact, if you don’t have a smartphone.