Airtel M-Commerce Services has been renamed Airtel Payments Bank after receiving necessary approvals from all concerned authorities. It plans to start rolling out its banking network in the second quarter of 2016-17, a company statement said here on Tuesday.
Airtel M-Commerce Services is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel. It had received a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on April 11, 2016. The payment banks will cater to the needs of small savings accounts, remittance services, low income households, small businesses and other unorganised sector entities.
“The new identity reflects our strong focus on the payments bank segment and our commitment to the government’s vision of financial inclusion and banking services for every citizen,” said Gopal Vittal, MD and chief executive (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
“With Airtel’s deep distribution network that touches every corner of the country, we believe that Airtel Payments Bank is uniquely placed to deliver quality banking services to customers by leveraging the power of mobile telephony,” he added.
Airtel Payments Bank (which began operations in 2011 as Airtel M-Commerce Services) at present provides money transfer services and semi-closed wallet services (Airtel Money). The company has presence in 800 plus towns across India.
It plans to leverage Bharti Airtel’s national distribution network that runs deep into rural areas and offers a robust platform to deliver banking services to the last mile.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has acquired 19.90 percent stake in Airtel Payments Bank for around Rs.98.8 crore.