Airtel Payments Bank, the first payments bank in the country to go LIVE, has announced a range of proactive initiatives to drive the adoption of digital/cashless payments and contribute to the Government of India’s efforts to accelerate India’s transition to a cashless economy.
Shashi Arora, MD & CEO – Airtel Payments Bank said, “We are fully committed to the Government’s vision of Digital India and financial inclusion. We are a fully digital bank and believe that these initiatives will add to the Government’s efforts to fast track India’s journey towards becoming a cashless economy.”
Starting January 2017, Airtel Payments Bank will roll-out the following initiatives across India.
Educating customers on digital payments; rewarding them for making it a habit
· Airtel will leverage its vast customer base of over 260 million customers and educate them on the benefits of digital payments. There will be special emphasis on educating customers with basic/feature mobile phones to use their phones to make USSD based payments.
· Customers will be encouraged and incentivised to open savings accounts with Airtel Payments Bank and make convenient digital payments using their mobile phones across a wide merchant base, in addition to earning a healthy interest rate on savings deposits.
· Airtel Payments Bank will also offer incentives in the form of surprise gifts to customers who use digital/cashless mode of payment. Every month, it will give away 100 minutes of free Airtel to Airtel mobile talk time to 100,000 of its customers (through a lucky draw), who use digital payments for transactions.
Building a nationwide Digital Payments Ecosystem
· Airtel Payments Bank will develop a nationwide merchant ecosystem of over 3 million partners that will include small kirana stores, small shops and restaurants etc. These merchant partners will accept digital payments for goods and services from Airtel Payments Bank customers over mobile phones.
No transaction charges for digital payments
· Airtel Payments Bank will not charge any processing fee from its customers and merchants partners for digital transactions. The benefit of no added/hidden costs, will encourage both merchants and customers alike to adopt cashless payments.
· The registration process for merchants will also be completely paperless and would allow them to start accepting payments instantaneously using either an app (smartphone) or USSD (feature phone).
Further, in order to discourage cash withdrawals from Airtel Payments Bank accounts, a minimal cash withdrawal free (~0.65% per transaction) will be levied, thereby, encouraging customers to prefer digital payments for transactions.
Airtel Payments Bank has rolled out pilot services across Rajasthan and has opened over 100,000 savings accounts in less than two weeks of commencing services. It plans to shortly extend its pilot services to the southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Airtel Payments Bank is a paperless bank and customers can access services over their mobile phones, including all feature/basic mobile phones.
· Digital Banking: Quick and paperless account opening using Aadhaar based e-KYC. This requires no documents at all, only the customer’s Aadhaar number is needed
· Customer’s Airtel mobile number will be his/her bank account number
· Interest rate of 7.25 % p.a. on deposits in savings accounts
· One minute of Airtel mobile talktime for every Rupee deposited at the time of opening a savings account
· Money transfer to any bank account in India (Free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Payments Bank)
· Personal Accidental Insurance of Rs. 1 Lac with every Savings Account
· Easy deposit and withdrawal facility across a wide network of Airtel retail outlets