Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday inaugurated Airtel Payments Bank of Bharti Enterprises, which is being rolled out across the country with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore.
“As more and more telecom companies enter into the fray, I think we will hopefully, see competition not only amongst telecom companies which we read a lot about these days, but probably see a competition between conventional and new mode of banking,” Jaitley said at the launch.
Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said that just as mobile telephony leapfrogged traditional telecom networks to take affordable telecom services deep into the country, Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones in a quick and efficient manner.
“With Airtel Payments Bank, we are starting another important chapter in our journey, with the potential to truly transform lives and contribute to financial inclusion in the country,” Mittal said.
Airtel first started its payments bank pilot in the north Indian state of Rajasthan across 10,000 retail outlets on November 23, 2016, and later rolled out pilot services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Mittal added that Bharti holds 80 per cent stake in the payments bank, while the rest is held by Kotak Mahindra Bank.
“We have invested around Rs 1,000 crore. We are looking at total investment of Rs 3,000 crore over a period of time.
We will look at getting some more equity partners but there is no immediate plan as of now,” Mittal said.