India’s First Payments Bank


A joint venture between Bharti Airtel and Kotak Mahindra Bank, the Airtel Payments Bank went live with a network of 2.5 lakh banking points. A payments bank is a differentiated bank, which allows customers to open only a savings account with a deposit of up to Rs.1,00,000.

Though there are no charges on cash deposits, in case of withdrawal customers have to pay Rs.5-25 if the amount is between Rs.10 and Rs.4,000, according to the bank’s website. For withdrawals over Rs.4,000, customers have to pay 0.65% of the amount. For instance, a customer who withdraws Rs.10,000 will have to pay Rs.65 as charges. Transfers within Airtel Payments Bank via internet banking, mobile app or USSD is free of cost. However, transfers from Airtel Payments Bank to other banks incur a charge of 0.5% of the amount transferred.
Customers can open the account for free, but with a minimum balance of Rs.100. To close the account, they will have to pay Rs.50. The minimum amount for cash deposit, withdrawal and online fund transfer is ₹10. The maximum limit on deposit per day at a banking point is Rs.49,990.

Airtel Payments Bank offers 7.25% interest on deposits in savings accounts. At this point, Airtel Payments Bank’s interest rate offering is the highest in the banking industry. To open an account, customers need to have an Aadhaar for e-KYC. For Airtel mobile customers, the mobile number will be the account number.

The bank also launched Airtel Payments Bank app and online debit card in collaboration with MasterCard. The app, MyAirtel app, is available on both Android and iOS platforms. The online debit card can be used only at online merchant portals that accepts MasterCard. Customers can get the card on your MyAirtel app. Airtel Payments Bank will not issue physics debit cards.

The bank also offers free talktime equivalent of the amount deposited in the savings account. The free talk time is capped at 500 minutes per customer.

Payment banks cannot issue credit cards, so do not expect Airtel Bank to issue credit cards to you. Payment banks cannot loan money to customers, so do not expect them to grant you a loan.  You need to keep in mind these things before you open an account.

Customers also get a free personal accidental insurance of Rs.1 lakh when they open a savings account. The bank is offering this through a tie-up with Bharti AXA General Insurance Co Ltd.


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