Airtel Payments Bank has removed all charges on cash withdrawal through IMT (Instant Money Transfer) system. Neighbourhood banking points have become critical as they are present close-by and even provide doorstep services when required. These services are proving to be a boon to customers, especially elders and pensioners who cannot go out in the current situation.
Airtel Payments Bank has onboarded over to 2.5 million unique customers in April through Aadhaar enabled payments system (AEPS) and aims to leverage its deep retail based banking network across India. In February this year, Airtel Payments Bank enabled Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) at over 250,000 of its Banking Points across India. Through AEPS, customers of any bank with Aadhaar-linked bank accounts can make financial transactions at the designated banking points of Airtel Payments Bank.
During the lockdown after the COVID-19 outbreak, Airtel Payments Bank has opened 70 % of new accounts in rural areas during March and April, enabling seamless banking experience in Tier 5-Tier 6 areas. The company is also providing free insurance cover to its business correspondents. Under this, if any Business Correspondent gets hospitalized due to COVID-19 then he/she will be eligible to receive a fixed allowance of INR 500 for each day of hospitalization, up to maximum of 15 days. Airtel Payments Bank has also helped its Business Correspondents to procure masks and sanitizers and runs educational programs about proper hygiene practices like cleaning of device and hands, and social distancing measures.
Airtel Payments Bank has created a dedicated ‘Fight Corona’ section under the banking section of the Airtel Thanks app to equip its customers in these difficult times. Through this section, customers can make direct contribution to PM CARES fund using their Airtel Payments Bank account.
Customers can also take Apollo 24/7’s free digital self-risk assessment test. The test comprises of some basic questions to analyse the symptoms. Basis the responses the test generates a risk score and suggests further action along with the important preventions to be taken.
Anubrata Biswas, MD & CEO, Airtel Payments Bank, said “One of the key goals of Payments Banks is to drive financial inclusion and take banking services deeper in underserved segments. Even in these difficult times our unique retail based model and vast network of Business Correspondents are keeping the lights on and serving a large underbanked segment.”
As many as 200,000 banking points such as small kiranas, neighborhood shops and medical stores are offering cash withdrawals, transfers and insurance to millions of customers. About 60% of the bank’s Business Correspondents operate in Tier 5/6 towns and villages allowing financial access to people at the bottom of the pyramid and maintain social distancing norms.
Currently, Airtel Payments bank has over 30 million customers.