Airtel Payments Bank – a joint venture between Airtel M-Commerce and Kotak Mahindra Bank, has become the first payments bank in the country to go live. The company maintained that the payments bank is testing systems and processes in a pilot launch in Rajasthan, ahead of a full-scale, pan-Indian launch.
The account holders can keep maximum of Rs 1 lakh in their accounts which will fetch an annual interest rate of 7.25 % on deposits, while the company will charge 0.65% fees on withdrawals.
The pilot will commence with 10,000 Airtel retail outlets across Rajasthan, which will also act as Airtel banking points and offer a range of basic banking services including bank account opening services and cash deposit & withdrawal facilities.
As a payments bank, it cannot perform lending activities, except while giving loans to its employees on approval of the board.
Airtel has about 25 crore customers in the country. Its customers can open accounts using Aadhaar based electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) and their Airtel mobile number will be the bank account number.
If you are not an Airtel customer, then you can open an account by visiting a designated Airtel retail outlet in your neighbourhood along with your Aadhaar number. The account will be opened through a paperless process within minutes through Aadhaar-based paperless e-KYC.
Airtel Payments bank is a fully paperless bank. And money transfer will be free if it is done from Airtel to Airtel numbers within Airtel Bank. However, the bank will not offer debit cards to customers, neither will have any Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).