Bharti Airtel launched its Airtel Payments Bank today. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the first payment bank. Airtel has said that investment of Rs. 3,000 crore has been put in for the venture.
At the event, FM Jaitley said that “As more and more telecom companies enter into the fray, I think we will hopefully, see competition. This will not only be amongst telecom companies which we read a lot about these days. We will see a competition between conventional and new mode of banking.”
Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said that just as 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.
He also said that “With Airtel Payments Bank, we are starting another important chapter in our journey, with the potential to truly transform lives and contribute to financial inclusion in the country.”
Bharti Airtel started its Airtel Payments Bank pilot in Rajasthan across 10,000 retail outlets on November 23, 2016. It later rolled out pilot services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Sunil Bharti Mittal also mentioned that that Bharti holds 80% stake in the payments bank. The remaining 20% stake is controlled by Kotak Mahindra Bank.
While taking about the investment, he said that Bharti Airtel has already invested around Rs 1,000 crore. They are looking at total investment of Rs 3,000 crore over a period of time.
He also said that Bharti retail outlets will be used as touch points for the payments bank. Within Airtel, a target has been set to convert 100 million of the 270 million customers to Airtel bank account. Mobile numbers of Airtel customers opening account in the payments bank will become their account number.