Bharti Airtel today commenced national operations of Airtel Payments Bank in the presence of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The company will offer banking services in 29 cities across the country.
The company launched a pilot in Rajasthan on November 23, before taking the pilot to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in December. It has committed an initial investment of Rs 3,000 crores to develop a pan India banking network and digital payments ecosystem. It also claimed to have added over 1 million customers during the pilot phase.
Commenting on the development, Sunil Bharti Mittal said, “With Airtel Payments Bank, we are starting another important chapter in our journey. Just like mobile telephony leapfrogged traditional telecom networks to take affordable telecom services deep into the country, Airtel Payments Bank aims to take digital banking services to the unbanked over their mobile phones in a quick and efficient manner.”
“Airtel Payments Bank will invest towards building a vast digital payments ecosystem with millions of merchants, and allow customers to make convenient cashless payments for good and services with their mobile phones,” he told Moneycontrol.
Expecting that there will be 3-4 players in the market, he said, “We have a massive distribution and a customer base whom we are trying to onboard.”
A payments bank can on-board customers at a lower cost, said Uday Kotak who also holds 20 percent stake in the company.
The company is adding 25,000 accounts every day and plans to have over 100,000 accounts a day.