Airtel Current Affairs

Airtel launches India’s first Payments Bank service in Rajasthan

Airtel Payments Bank Limited or Airtel Bank became the first payments bank in the country to launch live banking services in Rajasthan.

The pilot phase of the Airtel bank launched in Rajasthan aims at testing systems and processes ahead of a full scale pan Indian launch.

Key Facts

  • Airtel Payments Bank is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited. Mahindra Bank holds 19.9% stake in it.
  • Airtel retail outlets across Rajasthan will act as banking points. They offer a range of basic, convenient banking services as per Payments Bank guidelines issued by RBI.
  • Customers can open bank accounts by using Aadhaar based e-KYC. Airtel subscriber’s mobile number will function as a bank account number.
  • The bank will accept deposits not exceeding Rs 1 lakh. It cannot perform lending activities, except while giving loans to its employees on approval of the board.
  • It intends to give an interest rate of 7.25% per annum on deposits in savings accounts.
  • It will be offering customers the convenience of cashless purchase of goods/services using their bank accounts/wallets, contributing to of financial inclusion and banking for all.
  • Though payment banks are allowed to issue debit card facility, but Airtel Payments Bank will be not offering this facility right now.

Background

In August 2015, RBI had had given in-principle approval to 11 applicants to set up payments bank by February 2017. So far, out of these 11 applicants, Tech Mahindra Ltd, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Co, and billionaire Dilip Shanghvi have opted out.

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TRAI recommends Rs 3,050 crore penalty on Airtel, Vodafone & Idea

Telecom Regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended Department of Telecom (DoT) to impose combined penalty of 3,050 crore rupees on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular.

It had mentioned that the penalty should be imposed on these telecom companies for allegedly denying interconnectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio.

What is the issue?

  • The Reliance Jio had alleged that due to inadequate interconnection points its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks.
  • TRAI has found that these three companies have violated licence norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm.
  • Their combined actions have stifled the competition and are seen as anti-consumer and against public interest.

Now the DoT will decide on next course of action. If DoT finds violations of norms in all circles as mentioned by TRAI, these three telcos will be imposed combined penalty of Rs 3,050 crore.

About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)

  • The TRAI is an independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India. It came into existence by the Act of the Parliament in 1997.
  • It was established in wake of entry of private sector in telecom industries after Government had constituted the National Telecom Policy (NTP) to attract domestic and FDI investment in the telecommunication sector.
  • Its main purpose is to deliver a fair and transparent environment for fair competition in telecom market. TRAI also fixes or revises the tariffs for telecom services in India.

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