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Bharti teams up with Kotak for payment bank

Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd (AMSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of country’s largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel, plans to apply for a Payments Bank License which will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

AMSL seeks to convert its existing Prepaid Payment Instrument license into a Payments Bank License, Bharti Airtel said in a statement. Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd will acquire 19.90 per cent stake in AMSL as an investor, subject to grant of a payments bank license and all regulatory approvals.

Curently, AMSL offers mobile money services under the brand name — Airtel Money.

 Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “The RBI guidelines provide an exciting and challenging opportunity for an entity like us to contribute in a meaningful manner to drive financial inclusion”.

Kotak’s banking expertise coupled with Airtel’s strength in telecom will help deliver financial services to millions of unbanked citizens across the country, he added. 

Bharti Airtel has over 215 million subscribers and with 31 per cent revenue market share. 

Airtel Money, launched in 2011 was the first mobile based pre-paid payment instrument service in the country, the statement added. 


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