Airtel Payments Bank Removes Cash Withdrawal Charges

Starting 27 March customers of Airtel Payments Bank do not have to pay any charges or fees on cash withdrawals. The bank has decided to remove the cash withdrawal charges till the amount of Rs 25,000. And if the withdrawn amount is more than Rs 25,000, then customers have to pay a fee of 0.65% of the amount withdrawn.

Cash withdrawal charge is a fee customers have to pay if they withdraw cash from any outlet of the bank across the country. When the Airtel Payments Bank was launhced in 2017, there was a fixed charge on such withdrawals and charges were in different slabs. There were multiple of such slabs.

Earlier the cash withdrawal charges ranged from Rs 5-25 if the amount was below Rs 4000. And for withdrawal amount above Rs 4000, the payments bank used to charge a fixed sum of 0.65% of the withdrawn amount.

Now onwards, the fee of 0.65% will be charged on amount withdrawn above Rs 25,000 and there would be no cash withdrawal charge for below that amount.

This is great relief for the customers as most withdrawals were less than Rs 25,000, majority of them being in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 5000.

But in a major setback to the customers, Airtel Payments Bank had reduced the savings account interest rate to 5.5% from earlier 7.25%. This interest was the highest in the banking industry for savings accounts and the bank was offering the rate from the day one of its launch.

Airtel’s was the first payments bank to be launched in India and the firm has invested Rs 3000 crore for the expansion of the bank. Within two weeks of launch, the bank saw more than one lakh people opened their savings account with it. And within month’s time the firm had more outlets than the total number of ATMs in the country.

But in the fag end of last year the payments bank got embroiled in a controversy where it was accused of opening savings accounts without taking exclusive consent of the customer. Some partners of the payment bank misused Aadhaar data of customers to open such accounts. The government had penalised the firm with Rs 5 crore and had suspended its e-KYC license. This also saw the firm’s then CEO Shashi Arora quit the firm.

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