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Hyderabad: After Rajasthan, Airtel Payments Bank on Wednesday announced the roll out of its pilot services in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

“We are pleased to roll out our pilot services in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and look forward to serving customers and contributing the financial inclusion vision of the two states," Airtel Payments Bank MD and CEO Shashi Arora said.

He said they have received an extremely positive response from customers in Rajasthan and would like to replicate the same in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana before launching their services nationally. In the pilot roll out in Rajasthan, over 100,000 customers opened savings accounts in less than two weeks of commencement of services, the Airtel Payments Bank said in a release.

ALSO READ | After Rajasthan, Airtel Payments Bank set to extend pilot to southern states

“Airtel Payments Bank offers basic banking services to customers by leveraging Airtel’s vast retail network and taking basic banking services to the doorstep of customers via neighbourhood Airtel retailers. “Airtel Payments Bank is rolling out pilot services across 8,000 Airtel retail outlets in Andhra Pradesh and 7,000 outlets in Telangana, which also acts as banking points. About 70% of these banking points are in rural areas, thereby driving financial inclusion and reaching unbanked or under-banked areas," it said.

Customers would now be able to open bank accounts at any of the designated Airtel retail outlets “and enjoy a host of convenient banking services." Airtel Payments Bank is a fully digital and paperless bank, where customers can access services over their mobile phones, including all feature or basic mobile phones, it said.

ALSO READ | Airtel Payments Bank to focus on retail outlets to gain savings account customers

Airtel Payments Bank plans to develop a nationwide merchant ecosystem of over three million partners that include small kirana stores, small shops and restaurants. These merchant partners would accept digital payments for goods and services from Airtel Payments Bank customers over mobile phones, the release said.

Airtel Payments Bank would not charge any processing fee from merchants and the facility would be totally free for the customers as well as the merchants. “This is a step towards making India a cashless economy with more and more digital transactions at merchant locations," the release said.

ALSO READ | Airtel Payments Bank offers talktime equal to deposits to first-time customers

On 11 April 2016, Airtel Payments Bank became the first entity in country to receive a payments bank license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It intends to bring banking services to the doorstep of every citizen of the country. It plans to leverage Bharti Airtel’s extensive national distribution network of over 1.5 million retail outlets, with deep penetration in rural areas.

Airtel Payments Bank’s product portfolio includes payment banking services and semi-closed mobile wallet services (Airtel Money), the release added.

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