Airtel launches payments bank in India
Bharti Airtel today said it will invest Rs 3,000 crore in its payments bank, as it became the first off the block to launch the new model of banks aimed at taking financial services to the millions who are outside the banking system.
The company plans to tap into its telecom customer base and sign up as many as 100 million of them initially for the services, giving it a large base to keep off competition from digital wallet players and others set to enter the segment.
The company launched Airtel Payments Bank services across 2,50,000 banking points in all the 29 states. The reach will be more than the number of ATMs in the country, the company claimed. The banking points will be raised to 6,00,000 in a year.
“It’s a target within Airtel to convert at least 100 million of our 270 million customers with Airtel payments bank accounts,” Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said on Thursday.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who formally launched Airtel’s service, said payments banks would boost competition in the whole banking segment. “As more and more telecom companies enter into the fray, I think we will hopefully see competition not only amongst telecom companies, but probably see competition between conventional and new mode of banking,” he said.