India's first payments bank, operated by Airtel, commences nationwide operations today

Airtel has announced the launch of India’s first payments bank, which has commenced operations pan India today.


Airtel has announced the launch of India’s first payments bank, which has commenced operations pan India today.

Called the Airtel Payment’s Bank, the bank was launched in the presence of Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Uday Kotak and other industry leaders.

As defined by the RBI, a payments bank is a bank that only accepts a restricted deposit (up to Rs 1 lakh) and cannot issue loans or credit cards. Current accounts and Savings accounts can be operated from such a bank, however.

Airtel’s payments bank is different from other banks in that over 250,000 Airtel stores can act as so called banking points. In comparison, India only has a little over 215,000 ATMs in the country. 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.

“We are fully committed to the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call to build a Digital India and lay a strong foundation for India’s transition to a cashless economy. Airtel Payments Bank will invest towards building a vast digital payments ecosystem with millions of merchants, and allow customers to make convenient cashless payments for good and services with their mobile phones,” said Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises.

Anyone can open an account using just their Aadhar number and your mobile number becomes your account number. The bank will also offer an interest rate of 7.25 percent p.a. on savings account deposits. Better still, money transferred from Airtel-to-Airtel numbers will not be charged a service fee.

As an opening offer, every Rupee deposited at the time of opening the account will translate to 1 minute of Airtel talktime.


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