Payments banks in uncharted territory4 min read 29 Nov 2016, 12:20 AM IST
The recently launched Airtel Payments Bank kicks off a new experiment in cashless, tech-based banking
India’s financial inclusion mission has got a fresh burst of energy, as the experiment with a different kind of banking kicked off. Airtel Payments Bank started operations on 23 November and seven more payments banks are expected to roll out over the next few months. All these are expected to use innovative technology-based banking to expand the reach and usage of basic financial services across the country. While the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) has provided one big push to inclusion over the last two years, all said and done, the services are being extended under government mandate. Private participants have now been given a stake in this mission, and it will be interesting to see how these non-banks—Airtel, Reliance Industries, Paytm, Fino, India Post, Aditya Birla Group, National Securities Depository Ltd and Vodafone—take on this role.