Airtel Payments Bank

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Airtel Payments Bank Limited
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryFinancial services
Founded23 November 2016; 7 years ago (2016-11-23)[1]
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Area served
Key people
Anubrata Biswas
(MD & CEO)[2]
RevenueIncrease1,291 crore (US$160 million)(FY23)
Increase21.7 crore (US$2.7 million)(FY23)
ParentBharti Airtel

Airtel Payments Bank is an Indian payments bank with its headquarters in New Delhi.[3] The company is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel.[4] On 5 January 2022, it was granted the scheduled bank status by the Reserve Bank of India under the second schedule of RBI Act, 1934.[5]


In 2015, eleven companies received In-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to set up Payments Bank under the guidelines for Licensing of Payments Bank.[6]

On 11 April 2016, Airtel Payments Bank became the first company to receive the Payments Bank license from the Reserve Bank of India under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Airtel Payments Bank started with an 80:20 partnership between Bharti Airtel and Kotak Mahindra Bank.[7][8]

Bharti Airtel launched Airtel Payments Bank in September 2016 and went live with its pilot project in Rajasthan in November 2016.[6] It was launched nationally in January 2017 to support the cashless revolution promised by the Government of India.[9]

In August 2021, Kotak Mahindra sold its stake to Bharti Enterprises. As of 31 December 2021, 99.9% equity capital of the Bank is owned by the Bharti Group of Companies. The bank turned profitable in the quarter ended 30 September 2021, with an annual revenue run rate of ₹1,000 crore.[10]


Airtel Payments Bank has 155 million users and serves them through its digital platform and a retail-based distribution network.[11] The Bank has built a network of over 500,000 neighborhood banking points.[12]

Digital payments[edit]

In September 2017, Airtel Payments Bank launched UPI enabled digital payments to facilitate secure digital payments. Customers need to link their bank accounts on BHIM before they can make UPI payments. For UPI-based payments and transfers, customers are not required to furnish their bank details to enable transactions.[13]

Airtel Money is a digital wallet by Airtel Payment Bank that allows users to make payments using "Airtel Thanks App" or USSD.[14]

It also provides products like a savings account where customers can be onboarded digitally, adhering to video KYC norms.[15]


Airtel Payments Bank launched the issuance of FASTag in November 2019, offline and online.[16]

Airtel Safe Pay[edit]

In 2021, The Bank launched ‘Airtel Safe Pay’ that provides an additional layer of payment validation compared to the industry norm of two-factor authentication.[17]

Insurance and pension[edit]

In July 2019, Airtel Payments Bank partnered with Bharti AXA General Insurance.[18][19] Airtel Payments Bank and Bharti Axa Life Insurance have started to provide the government's insurance plan Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana in August 2018.[20][21] In 2019, Airtel Payments Bank started offering Atal Pension Yojana (a Government of India initiative) through its platform.[22]

Remittance and AePS Service[edit]

Airtel Payments Bank’s total distribution reach is twice that of the total ATMs and bank branches in the country. Aadhaar Enabled Payment System is a segment, having Aadhaar-linked accounts of any bank, to do transactions at over 500 thousand banking points of the Airtel Payments Bank. It allows customers to carry out transactions by using their Aadhaar number or Virtual ID to access their bank accounts.[23]


In May 2021, Airtel Payments Bank launched DigiGold, a digital platform for its customers to make investments in gold. DigiGold has been launched in partnership with SafeGold, a provider of digital gold.[24]


The Bank's capital at its establishment was Rs 3,000 crore (US$441 million).[25]

In 2018–19, Airtel Payments Bank reported a loss of ₹338 crore,[26] while it registered a loss of ₹272 crore in the financial year 2017–18.[27] In FY 20, its revenues rose 87% to ₹474 crore.[28] It turned profitable in the quarter ended September 2021 and has achieved an annual revenue run rate of ₹1,000 crores.[29]

In December 2021, money deposited with Airtel Payments Bank surged 75 per cent to ₹1,000 crore as compared to 2020. Total share capital infused till date is ₹2,348 crores as per financials.[30]

Legal challenges[edit]

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) suspended Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payment Bank's licence for eKYC of Aadhar on 16 December 2017, following complaints from customers that their accounts were being opened without their consent. Some even received their LPG subsidies in their Airtel Payment Bank accounts.[31] However, on 12 July 2018, Airtel Payments Bank received requisite approvals from the Reserved Bank of India and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to resume on-boarding new customers using of Aadhaar-based e-KYC.[32]


  1. ^ "Kotak Bank to sell shares of Airtel Payments Bank to Bharti Enterprises". mint. 31 August 2021. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank ropes in Anubrata Biswas as its chief executive". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Airtel launches India's first payments bank with 250,000 banking points; to invest Rs 30 billion in creating ecosystem of 5 million merchants". Financial Express. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  4. ^ Jain, Upasana (23 November 2016). "Airtel launches India's first payments bank".
  5. ^ "airtel: Airtel Payments Bank gets scheduled bank status from RBI - Times of India". The Times of India. PTI. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Airtel Payments Bank goes live with pilot project in Rajasthan". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Bharti Airtel-Kotak Mahindra Bank JV gets payment bank license from RBI". 11 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  8. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank launched, with vow to shake up old banking system". mint. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  9. ^ "About Us | Airtel Payments Bank". Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Kotak to sell 8.6% stake in Airtel Bank to Bharti Enterprises". The Economic Times.
  11. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank has 155 million customers".
  12. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank receives scheduled bank status from RBI". 4 January 2022.
  13. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank launches UPI enabled digital payments". The Economic Times. 17 September 2017.
  14. ^ Verma, Pallavi Arun. "Airtel Payments Bank UPI – the easiest and fastest way to transfer money". The Economic Times.
  15. ^ Das, Vipul (8 June 2022). "2 payments banks promising 5% to 6% interest rates on savings accounts". mint.
  16. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank, Park+ tie up to offer FASTag-based parking solutions". Business Standard India. 6 January 2022.
  17. ^ Guha, Ishita (20 January 2021). "Airtel Payments Banks launches 'safe pay' to curb online frauds". mint.
  18. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank partners with Bharti AXA Life to offer term insurance". The Economic Times. 2 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank partners with Bharti AXA Life to offer pure term insurance". @businessline.
  20. ^ Dua, Priyanka (16 August 2018). "Airtel Payments Bank join hands with Bharti AXA Life Insurance to offer Rs. 2 lakh insurance cover".
  21. ^ "Bharti AXA, Airtel Payments Bank team up to offer Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana - ET Telecom".
  22. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank launches Aadhaar-enabled payment service: Report". MediaNama. 2 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank Claims: Airtel Payments Bank helps maintain banking services across India - Times of India". The Times of India.
  24. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank launches 'DigiGold' platform for customers to invest in gold". The Economic Times.
  25. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank goes national and live in all 29 States". 12 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Airtel Payment Bank loss widens to ₹339 crore in FY19, revenue jumps 59%". Business Today. 19 August 2019.
  27. ^ Merwin, Radhika (10 September 2019). "Why five out of the 11 payments banks have shut shop". The Hindu Business Line.
  28. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank's revenue up 87% in FY20". Livemint. 28 June 2020.
  29. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank customers' deposit surges 75% to Rs 1,000 cr in 2021". Business Standard India. 27 January 2022.
  30. ^ "Airtel Payments Bank customers' deposit surges 75% to Rs 1,000 crore in 2021". The Economic Times. 27 January 2022.
  31. ^ "UIDAI suspends Airtel, Airtel Payments Bank's eKYC licence". The Indian Express. 16 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  32. ^ Gupta, Komal (12 July 2018). "Airtel Payments Bank gets RBI nod to resume enrolling customers". livemint.