Airtel Payments Bank opens 10,000 accounts in two days

Airtel Payments Bank (Airtel Bank), the first payments bank in India to start operations, has opened over 10,000 accounts within the first two days of the pilot going live.

it said the majority of these accounts came in from semi-urban and rural areas.

''We are encouraged with the response from customers, in particular, from semi-urban and rural areas. We believe that this differentiated banking model will offer a lot of convenience to customers and are hopeful of onboarding more and more customers in the coming days,'' said Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank.

''We are offering the highest interest rate on savings account deposits in the country along with personal insurance of Rs 1 lakh and may look at sweetening the value proposition further and introduce more benefits in the coming days to accelerate the onboarding,'' he added.

In Rajasthan, Airtel Bank has rolled out pilot services across 10,000 Airtel retail outlets, which also acts as banking points. Two-thirds of these banking points across Rajasthan are in rural areas.

Airtel Bank plans to have a network of 100,000 merchants (shops) across Rajasthan by the end of the year. All these merchants will accept digital payments via Airtel Bank using a mobile phone. Airtel will not charge any processing fee from merchants for this facility.

On 23 November Airtel Payments Bank Ltd, a subsidiary of the country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel, said it had commenced the pilot with banking points at 10,000 Airtel retail outlets.

Customers across Rajasthan will now be able to open bank accounts at Airtel retail outlets, which will also act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of basic, convenient banking services, it had said.

A wide network of merchants (sellers and shops) across Rajasthan will accept digital payments from Airtel Bank from day one, offering customers the convenience of cashless purchase of goods and services via their mobile phones in a quick and secure manner. Airtel Bank plans to expand its merchant network in Rajasthan to 100,000 by the end of the year, the company said in a statement.

On April 11, Airtel Bank had got a payments bank license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Airtel Bank is a digital and paperless bank, which will offer an interest rate of 7.25 per cent per annum on deposits in savings accounts.