Approminately 60 percent of these accounts have been opened in rural areas, underlining the massive scope for serving customers, particularly in unbanked and underbanked pockets of the state, Airtel said.
Airtel Payments Bank aims to take basic banking services to the doorstep of every Indian by leveraging Airtel’s vast retail network.
In Uttar Pradesh, over 12,000 neighbourhood Airtel retail stores also function as banking points, and customers will be able to open savings accounts, deposit and withdraw cash across any of these banking points. Nearly two-thirds of these banking points across the State are in rural areas, helping in extending the reach of services to unbanked regions.
Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank said, “We are delighted with the response received from the customers in Uttar Pradesh and look forward to building on this momentum and serve even more customers in the days to come.”
The project contributes towards financial inclusion and banking for all, Arora added. “We are also building a digital payments ecosystem that will enable customers to make cashless payments for goods and services across millions of merchants across the country and invite merchants across Uttar Pradesh to be a part of this ecosystem.”
Airtel Payments Bank currently has a network of over 250,000 neighbourhood Airtel retail stores, which also function as banking points. This is more than the total number of ATMs in the country. The Bank aims to scale its network to 600,000 banking points.
Airtel payments Bank allows users to open paperless account using Aadhaar based e-KYC. This requires no documents at all. The customer’s mobile number will be his/her bank account number.
The bank offers interest rate of 7.25 percent p.a. on deposits in savings accounts, the highest in India, Airtel said.
Further, Airtel offers one minute of Airtel mobile talktime for every Rupee deposited at the time of opening a savings account.
Customers can transfer money to any bank account in India. Free money transfer is allowed within Airtel Payments Bank.
The service also provides free personal accident insurance of Rs. 1 Lac with every Savings Account.
Airtel, in partnership with MasterCard, also provides an online debit that can be used to make payments across all online merchants like Flipkart, Amazon and Uber etc.
Airtel Payments Bank’s services can be accessed by customers on their feature phones as well through USSD by dialing *400#; or via a simple IVR by dialing 400. Both the USSD & IVR options are available in 12 local languages. Customers can also access services by dialing 8800688006 in addition to visits to any designated Airtel retail outlet to access services – and not just the outlet where they have opened the account, Airtel said.
Airtel Payments Bank will develop a nationwide merchant ecosystem of over five million partners including small kirana stores, grocers, pharmacies, restaurants, and the like. These merchant partners will accept digital payments from Airtel Payments Bank customers over mobile phones. Airtel Payments Bank has also launched a Merchant App for digital onboarding of partners.
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 has committed an investment of Rs. 3000 crore across its national operations and plans to build a digital payments ecosystem with over 5 million merchants. Over one million merchants have already been onboarded across India.