Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan, becoming the first payments bank in the country to go live.
“Customers in towns and villages across Rajasthan will now be able to open bank accounts at Airtel retail outlets, which will also act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of basic, convenient banking services,” a company release said. The launch comes at a time when the government is making a determined push for a less-cash economy through demonetisation of high-value currencies.
Airtel Bank will commence the pilot with banking points at 10,000 Airtel retail outlets, the release said, adding that the pilot is aimed at testing systems and processes ahead of a full-scale pan-India launch.
“A wide network of merchants (sellers/shops) across Rajasthan will accept digital payments from Airtel Bank from day one, offering customers the convenience of cashless purchase of goods and services via their mobile phones in a quick and secure manner,” it said.
Airtel Bank plans to expand its merchant network in Rajasthan to 1,00,000 by the end of the year, giving a boost to digital payments ecosystem.
Airtel Banking points will offer bank account opening services and cash deposit and withdrawal facilities.
Elaborating on the digital and paperless bank, the statement said account opening will be quick and paperless using Aadhaar based e-KYC.
“Customer’s Airtel mobile number will be his/her bank account number. The interest rate of 7.25 per cent per annum (will apply) on deposits in savings accounts,” it said.
It will allow money transfer to any bank account in India and free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank. It is also offering personal accidental insurance of Rs 1 lakh with every savings account.