Jaitley formally launches Airtel's payments bank

Finance minister Arun Jaitley today launched Airtel's payments bank, which has been running pilot services in four states.

Airtel first started its payments bank pilot in Rajasthan across 10,000 retail outlets on 23 November 2016, and later rolled out pilot services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

On 11 April last year, Airtel Bank became the first entity in India to receive a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It plans to expand payments bank service by leveraging Airtel's national distribution network of over 1.5 million retail outlets, with deep penetration in rural areas.

During the pilot phase, Airtel Payments Bank announced interest rate of 7.25 per cent on deposits, free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank, money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank, and money transfer to any bank account in India.

People can open their account using Aadhar-based e-Know Your customer service without need to submit any paper documents. For Airtel customers, the account number will be same as their mobile number.

Airtel Payments Bank achieved 10,000 customer mark within the first two days of the pilot going live in Rajasthan, the company said.

During the pilot phase, Airtel also attracted its mobile customers to open payments bank accounts by offering them one minute of talk time on his/her Airtel mobile for every rupee deposited in the first tranche.