India’s Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of the Airtel mobile network, recently announced a strategic partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. that will enable 14,000 HPCL gas stations across the country to act as banking points.
According to a press release, Airtel Payments Bank customers will be able to access a range of banking services — for instance, new account opening, cash deposits and withdrawals and money transfers — at HPCL stations.
Customers also will be able to pay via mobile for fuel purchases at HPCL stations.
“We are delighted to partner HPCL as part of our endeavor to build a robust and diverse merchant ecosystem that brings more digital payments avenues to our customers,” Shashi Arora, CEO and Managing Director of Airtel Payments Bank, said in a statement. “We are, in particular, pleased to have these fuel outlets as our banking points. We are confident that this partnership will add to the growth of digital payments in the country and contribute to the government’s Digital India vision.”
Airtel Payments Bank services include:
- paperless account opening using the e-KYC feature of Aadhaar, India’s national identity system. This requires no documentation, only the customer’s Aadhaar number; the customer’s mobile number is also the bank account number;
- annual interest rate of 7.25 percent — the highest in India — on savings accounts;
- funds transfer to any bank account in India; free transfer from Airtel-to-Airtel numbers within Airtel Payments Bank;
- personal accident insurance of 1 lakh rupees ($1,565) with savings account;
- cash deposit and withdrawal facility at 300,000 Airtel retail outlets;
- text and interactive voice response in 12 languages for feature phone customers;
- an online debit card in partnership with MasterCard; and
- a nationwide digital payments ecosystem comprising more than 1 million merchants.