Airtel To Educate Customers On Digital Payments
Airtel Bank or Airtel Payments Bank Limited a part of Bharti Airtel Limited in a press release announced that it will take initiatives to drive the adoption of digital payments in India. Post the demonetization move by PM Narendra Modi-led government, the company said that it is planning to contribute to the government’s Digital India campaign and ensure a smooth and speedy transition to a cashless economy.
The telecom service provider aims at educating customers on digital payments and rewarding them for making it a habit. Airtel will leverage its customer base of over 260 million customers and educate them on the benefits of digital payments.
There will be special emphasis on educating customers the usage of feature phones to make USSD based payments. Customers will be encouraged and incentivized to open savings accounts with Airtel Payments Bank and make convenient digital payments using their mobile phones across a wide merchant base, in addition to earning a healthy interest rate on savings deposits.
Shashi Arora, MD & CEO of Airtel Payments Bank said in a press release, “We are fully committed to the Government’s vision of Digital India and financial inclusion. We are a fully digital bank and believe that these initiatives will add to the Government’s efforts to fast track India’s journey towards becoming a cashless economy.”
Airtel Payments Bank will not charge any processing fee from its customers and merchants partners for digital transactions but will charge 0.65 per cent fee on cash withdrawals from January 2017 to drive the adoption of digital payments. The bank is offering interest rate of 7.25 per cent per annum on savings accounts.
It will also offer incentives in the form of surprise gifts to customers who use digital mode of payment. Every month, it will give away 100 minutes of free Airtel to Airtel mobile talk time to 100,000 of its customers (through a lucky draw). It will also develop a nationwide merchant ecosystem of over 3 million partners that will include mom-and-pop stores, small shops, restaurants etc. These merchant partners will accept digital payments for goods and services from Airtel Payments Bank customers over mobile phones. The bank has rolled out pilot services across Rajasthan and plans to extend to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Telecom providers in India are making a deliberate effort to support government’s Digital India initiatives. Vodafone India on Monday announced the launch of Vodafone M-Pesa Pay, an additional feature to its digital payment solution for merchants. The digital wallet allows merchants and retailers to receive digital payments from their customers. Both feature phone and smartphone users can avail the facility on M-Pesa Pay.
Reliance’s digital payment platform JioMoney, which was launched earlier this year, will also benefit from demonetization. In November the company said it has come up with cashback offers for its users on services such as pay utility bills, online payment, recharge mobile phones, transfer money to bank, and shopping among other features.
The digital payments industry is set to grow big, according to a joint study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Google. The study forecasted, by 2020, the digital payments industry in India set to cross $500 billion, growing 10 times the current size.
The study also noted that the top 100 million users will be driving as much as 70 per cent of the payments carried out through digital methods.
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