Airtel Payments Bank, the first such bank to go live in the country, Wednesday said it is planning to build pan-India network of over 3 million merchants to enable cashless transaction and help government’s agenda of a digital economy.
These 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. Airtel Payments Bank said will not charge any processing fee from merchants and this facility would be totally free for the customers as well as the merchants.
The company made these announcements while opening its payments banks in two other states – Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. It already had opened such banks in Rajasthan in November.
Airtel Payments Bank is rolling out pilot services across 8,000 Airtel retail outlets in Andhra Pradesh and 7,000 outlets in Telangana, which also acts as banking points. The company is setting up 70 % of these banking points in rural areas.
The payments banks bring lot of benefits to the customers. In case of Airtel Payments bank, the company offers 7.25% interest on the deposited amount whereas the traditional banking system offers 3 to 4% interest. Besides the interest rate, Airtel is offering 1 minute of talk time for every rupee deposited in these accounts.
For example, if a customer opens a savings account in one such payments bank and deposits Rs 10,000, the account holder would get talk time of 10,000 minutes. However, there’s a catch. The talktime offering is just for first deposit and for once only.
Besides the interest and talktime, the company also offers personal accident cover of Rs 1 lakh on every savings bank account.
Once the account is opened, Airtel Payments Bank’s services can be accessed by the customers on their mobile phones through the Airtel Money app, through USSD by dialing *400#; or via a simple Voice Response Mechanism (IVR) by dialing 400. Both the USSD & IVR options are available in Telugu, Hindi and English language and work on simple feature phones as well. Non Airtel customers can access Airtel Payments Bank’s services by dialing 8800688006 or by using the Airtel Money app.