Airtel Bank or the Airtel Payments Bank, a part of Bharti Airtel Limited, announced its pilot banking services recently, has now unveiled some major new benefits on savings account deposits. According to a press release by Airtel, every customer of Airtel Payments Bank, who opens a savings account will get one minute of talktime on smartphone against every rupee that is deposited with the bank. This means that if you deposit, say Rs 500 in the bank, you will get 500 minutes of talktime on your Airtel phone number. This amount can be used for calling any number all over India. However, this benefit is only for deposits made in the bank for the first time.
Airtel Payments Bank is a project which has been rolled out in Rajasthan with an aim to test systems and processes ahead of its all-India launch. Airtel beats PayTm to bring out its pilot payments bank in the country to go live. People in Rajasthan, both in cities and villages will be able to open bank accounts at any Airtel retail outlet. It will also act as Airtel’s banking points and present a line-up of basic and convenient banking services. The project will start the first payments bank with around 10 thousand Airtel retail outlets across the state. Shashi Arora, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank in a statement said, “We are leveraging Airtel’s telecom ecosystem to bring banking services to the doorsteps of every Indian. We are confident that this additional benefit along with the industry-best interest rate on deposits will encourage customers to open accounts with us and give a big boost to customer acquisition.” The bank will try to expand its merchant network in the state to 1 lakh by the end of December, which will be a big addition to the digital payments system.
Arora added, “We are also undertaking a massive drive to enrol over one lakh merchants in Rajasthan by the year-end, who will not be charged anything for accepting digital payments from Airtel Payments Bank customers. We believe this will boost the digital payments ecosystem hugely and reduce dependence on cash.” Airtel Bank’s services can be accessed by Airtel customers on their mobile phones through the Airtel Money app, through USSD by dialling *400#; or via a simple IVR by dialling 400. Both the USSD & IVR options are available in Hindi and English language and work on simple feature phones as well. Now Airtel customers can access Airtel Bank’s services by dialling 8800688006.
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Customers can also visit any designated Airtel retail outlet to access services (and not just the outlet where they have opened the account). Airtel Banking points will offer bank account opening services and cash deposit & withdrawal facilities.