Indian telco Bharti Airtel has combined forces with Axis Bank to offer 'no-frills' savings accounts and remittances to unbanked users of the airtel mobile money platform.
The Infosys-enabled 'airtel money Super Account powered by Axis Bank' will offer users integrated banking transactions including cash deposit, money transfer and withdrawal.
Sanjay Kapoor, CEO - India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel says: " According to estimates, nearly 43% of our country's population does not have bank accounts and continues to rely on cash for majority of transactions as well as payments. The all new 'airtel money Super Account powered by Axis Bank' acts as a no-frills bank account that comes with remittance capabilities which empower customers to send money, withdraw cash from the nearby designated airtel money outlets, keep money safe and even enjoy interest on savings through their mobile device."
In the future, other banking products and services will be added to platform, says Kapoor, such as micro-recurring deposits, micro fixed deposits, small loans and micro-insurance products.
Shikha Sharma, MD & CEO, Axis Bank says: "Our alliance with Airtel will help the bank to reach out to excluded segments of our population, both in rural and urban centres, with reasonably priced banking and financial services."
The venture marks Airtel's second attempt to extend its mobile money capabilities into the banking market. The telco announced a joint venture with the country's largest bank, State Bank of India, last year, to a offer a complete suite of banking services via both the mobile platform and a state-wide network of branches and retail distribution outlets. However, the plans were scuppered by the Reserve Bank of India over the equity arrangements for the venture, which would have given the telco a stake in the banking business without recourse to a banking license.