In 2015, Reserve Bank of India allowed 11 entities to act as payments banks in India. These banks can open saving or current accounts with a maximum deposit amount of Rs.100,000/-. The main aim of these banks was to provide an additional option to the citizens of India for making payments via cashless ways. These banks are not authorized to give loans like conventional banks. Bharti Airtel was expected to launch the payments bank services by the end of March 2017. However, the recent demonetization of Rs.500/- and Rs.1000/- notes gave the company a good chance to test its services as people are looking for an alternative to cash.
The company got its license as payment bank in April 2016 from the RBI. Kotak Mahindra Bank has 19.90 percent stake in the Airtel Payments Bank. The company has started the pilot services in Rajasthan. In the statement provided by the company, initially, Airtel will try to rope in 100,000 merchants in Rajasthan with the Payment Bank. It will give the much required initial boost to the cashless ecosystem in India.
How to apply for the bank account?
Anyone can apply for the Payments Bank Account with Airtel in Rajasthan. The mobile number of the user will be the bank account number. The activation of the account will be based on eKYC thus the whole process will be paperless and instant. You will need your Adhaar Card and nothing else to be a part of the cashless revolution. All the Payments Bank services will initialize via Airtel Money App.
Highlights of the Airtel Payments Bank
- The option is open to all citizens of It will not matter if you are already a customer of Airtel or not. You just need your Adhaar card.
- The Airtel Mobile number will be your account number as well. It will make it much easier to remember the account number.
- With every saving account, the customer will get an accidental insurance of Rs.1 lakh.
- The account can open from any authorized Airtel outlet.
- At the moment, Airtel will not offer a debit card or cash card with the account. The user can deposit or withdraw cash from Airtel outlet.
- It is a completely paperless banking system. Everything will be available via Mobile App.
- The money transfer or payment can initiate via Mobile App or USSD code by dialing *400#. Money transfers from Airtel number to Airtel number will be free. If you want to transfer money to a bank account, there will be charges starting from Rs.2/-
- The Airtel Bank will provide an interest of 7.25% on the saving account which is the highest in the banking sector for a saving account.
The government of India is trying to encourage people to go cashless from last 2-3 years. Since NDA came into power, a number of steps have been taken in the process. The Jan Dhan accounts, payments banks and subsidy payments directly in the bank are a few steps to mention. By launching the first payments bank in India, Airtel has opened the doors of a new market for itself. The step will also force rest of the 10 authorized companies to start the operations as soon as possible.