The payments bank sees a "massive headroom for growth" and its promoters remain committed to unlocking this potential, Biswas told PTI.
Airtel Payments Bank’s revenues rose 87 per cent to Rs 474 crore during FY20, driven by surge in digital payments, money transfer and offtake of new services, according to its MD and CEO Anubrata Biswas. The payments bank sees a “massive headroom for growth” and its promoters remain committed to unlocking this potential, Biswas told PTI.
Last year, Bharti Airtel and Bharti Enterprises had injected an additional Rs 325 crore into the payments bank. “Airtel Payments Bank’s revenues rose 87 per cent to Rs 474 crore during FY20, fuelled by surge in digital payments, money transfer, and offtake of new services”, Biswas said.
Addition of new services such as insurance to the portfolio, along with healthy adds in new savings accounts also buoyed the numbers. The company did not comment on profitability but said Airtel Payments Bank has turned ‘contribution margin positive’.
Contribution margin is defined as gross revenue minus all direct costs incurred in providing services to customers. These costs include payment gateway, transactional cashbacks and all commissions paid by the company. India’s first payments bank now has 3.10 crore active customers, with a network of over five lakh neighbourhood banking points.
These neighbourhood banking points are aimed at taking services closer to the customer, and have reached rural pockets that did not have access to banking services earlier, the company said. “Our performance is a strong endorsement of the payments bank model and its relevance to India’s financial inclusion agenda. Digital technology and deep distribution reach will continue to remain the pillars of our strategy as we scale up further,” Biswas said.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Airtel Payments Bank kept its service engine running by leveraging its retail based banking network to ensure that basic financial services are within the reach of millions of Indians, particularly in villages and tier 5/6 towns.
These banking touch-points aim to ensure that the needy, especially at the bottom of the pyramid, do not face any inconvenience in these unprecedented times.
“There is massive headroom for growth and the promoters of the bank remain committed to unlocking this potential,” Biswas added.