Arun Jaitley launches Airtel Payments Bank; Commits investment of Rs 3,000 Cr
Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first payments bank was launched by union minister of finance and corporate affairs Arun Jaitley nationally, and is now live in all 29 States of India.
Also present on the occasion were Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Uday Kotak, executive vice chairman & MD, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel; and Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank.
Airtel Payments Bank will commit an initial investment of Rs 3,000 crores to develop a pan India banking network and digital payments ecosystem for IT, manpower, marketing and distribution.
Speaking on the occasion, Sunil Bharti Mittal said, “Just like 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. Millions of Indians in rural areas will get their first formal banking experience with Airtel Payments Bank.”
“We are fully committed to the prime minister 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,” commented Mittal.
Starting today, over 250,000 neighbourhood Airtel retail stores across the country will also function as banking points, and customers will be able to open savings accounts, deposit and withdraw cash across any of these banking points.
Airtel Payments Bank will not charge any processing fee from its customers and merchants partners for digital transactions, thereby encouraging them to adopt cashless payments.
Airtel Payments Bank plans to develop a 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. Anyone looking to become a merchant partner can download this app from Google Playstore for free and start accepting digital payments instantaneously.
Airtel will leverage its vast base of over 260 million customers and educate them on the benefits of digital payments, with special emphasis on customers with basic/feature mobile phones to make them use their phones to make USSD based payments.