Airtel Payments Bank (APB), India’s first payments bank, hopes to boost revenue by expanding its portfolio to include insurance products and credit facilities by tying up with NBFCs and insurance companies as third party merchants.
Airtel Payments Bank, that started operations just last November, is looking to sell third party financial products to boost income under the ‘other income’ category. As per RBI guidelines, payments banks are not permitted to to carry out lending and insurance activity directly, themselves, but they are allowed to sell third-party financial products.
Airtel MD and CEO, Shashi Arora said that they plan to start selling insurance and mutual fund products through the APB network very soon. They also plan to offer loan products in the near future. They are in the process of partnering up with entities like NBFCs to that end.
The 80:20 venture between Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Kotak Mahindra Bank, APB has already opened 2.5 lakh banking points across India, with a strong customer strength of 2 million.
Payments banks are required to park 75% of their total deposits in SLR securities and the remaining 25% in other instruments prescribed by the RBI.
The Airtel Payments Bank currently charges 0.65% of the amount for cash withdrawals of more than Rs.4,000 and 0.5% for online funds transfer of more than Rs.1,000 to any bank account not within the Airtel Banking network. All other services are free of charge. It is also offering 7.25% interest p.a. on savings account deposits.
With the prospects of these new partnerships, the bank is looking to increase its revenue to steady and sustainable levels.
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