After Rajasthan, Airtel Payments Bank has now rolled out pilot services in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Airtel Payments Bank is rolling out pilot services across 8,000 Airtel retail outlets in Andhra Pradesh and 7,000 outlets in Telangana, which also acts as banking points,” it said in a statement. Also Read - Airtel Rs 79 plan vs JioPhone Rs 75 prepaid plan compared: Which offers better value?Also Read - Airtel Rs 79 vs Vodafone-Idea (Vi) Rs 79 prepaid plans compared: Data, calls, and other benefits
This follows the pilot rollout in Rajasthan, where over 1 lakh customers opened savings accounts in less than two weeks of commencement of services, it added. Airtel Payments Bank is the first payments bank in India to go live. Customers opening a savings account with Airtel Payments Bank will get one minute of Airtel mobile talk time for every rupee deposited.
For example, if a customer opens an account with a deposit of Rs 500, then he/she will get 500 minutes of free talk time for calls to anywhere in India on his/her Airtel mobile number. “We are pleased to rollout our pilot services in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and look forward to serving customers and contributing the financial inclusion vision of the two states,” Airtel Payments Bank MD and CEO Shashi Arora said. Airtel Payments Bank plans to develop a nationwide merchant ecosystem of over three million partners that will include small kirana stores, small shops and restaurants. ALSO READ: Airtel Payments Bank will offer one minute of talktime on every rupee deposited
These merchant partners will accept digital payments for goods and services from Airtel Payments Bank customers over mobile phones. Airtel Payments Bank said it will not charge any processing fee from merchants and this facility would be free for customers as well as merchants.
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 from individuals and small businesses up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account.