In a bid to attract new users to open a savings account with its payments bank service, Airtel has come with an offer to provide free talktime. The company has announced that first-time customers will receive talktime equivalent to the amount deposited in the savings account.

In a statement, the company said:

Any customer opening a savings account with Airtel Payments Bank, will get one minute of talk time on his/her Airtel mobile for every rupee deposited.

It must be noted that the benefit is applicable only for the first time deposit. If you deposit Rs 1,000 in the saving account of Airtel Payments Bank, you’ll get 1,000 minutes of free talktime on your Airtel mobile number. The talktime can be used for calling all over India.

Commenting on this, Airtel Payments Bank CEO Shashi Arora said,

We are leveraging Airtel’s telecom ecosystem to bring banking services to the doorsteps of every Indian… We are also undertaking a massive drive to enroll over one lakh merchants in Rajasthan by the year-end, who will not be charged anything for accepting digital payments from Airtel Payments Bank customers.

While Paytm is still gearing up to launch its payment bank service, Airtel launched its service named Airtel Payment Bank on 23rd November in Rajasthan. With the launch, it became the first payment bank to go live in India.

The company started from Rajasthan with 10,000 retail outlets, it is planning to expand its reach to about 1,00,000 outlets by the end of this year. It is offering 7.25% interest rates on savings account, which is higher than what commercial banks (4-6%) are offering.

Airtel believes that the move will boost the digital payments ecosystem hugely and reduce dependence on cash. The launch of the service comes at a time when the government is making a determined push for a less-cash economy through demonetisation of high-value currencies.

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