Airtel Payments Bank achieves 150,000 savings accounts in West Bengal

Airtel Payments Bank launch

Airtel Payments Bank today said its mobile customers have opened over 150,000 savings accounts in West Bengal since its launch.

Approximately 70 percent of savings account holders opened their accounts in rural areas.

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Over 21,000 Airtel retail stores also function as banking points in West Bengal, and customers can open savings accounts, deposit and withdraw cash across any of these banking points. Majority of these banking points across the State are in rural areas, helping in extending the reach of services to unbanked regions.

Customers can access Airtel Payments Bank’s services on their feature phones as well through USSD by dialing *400#.

They can also dial 400 for opening the account. Both the USSD and IVR options are available in 12 local languages. Customers can also access services by dialing 88006-88006 in addition to visiting any designated Airtel retail outlet to access.

Airtel Payments Bank CEO on expansion plans

Airtel Payments Bank plans to tie up with insurance companies and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in the future to offer insurance and credit facilities.

“As per the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines, payments banks are not allowed to lend, but it can offer third party financial products in the way other banks do,” said Shashi Arora, MD and CEO of Airtel Payments Bank.

“We plan to sell insurance and mutual fund products through our network in near future. After that, we will also offer loan products of other entities like NBFCs as we are not allowed to do lending directly,” he added.

The payments bank, which is a 80:20 joint venture between Bharti Airtel and Kotak Mahindra Bank, already opened two million customer accounts.

It currently has a network of over 2.5 lakh neighbourhood Airtel retail stores, which also function as banking points. The bank aims to scale its network to 6 lakh banking points and committed an investment of Rs 3,000 crore across its national operations.

Arora also said the current interest rate of 7.25 percent per year on deposits in saving accounts was clearly to attract customers.