Airtel Payments Bank has teamed up with Mastercard to develop customised financial products for Indian farmers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to deepen penetration of financial services in underbanked and unbanked regions, a statement said on Monday.
The collaboration will bring together Mastercard’s global and local experience in developing advanced financial solutions, and Airtel Payments Bank’s distribution network to reach the last-mile and its large customer base.
“Airtel Payments Bank (APBL)…has partnered with Mastercard…to develop customised products catering to customers across the underbanked spectrum including farmers, small and medium enterprises, and retail customers,” a joint statement by the two companies said.
Both entities have been working towards driving adoption of formal banking and digital payments in the country, in line with government’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and banking for every Indian, the release said.
The partnership aims at building a digital platform which provides farmers with knowledge about advanced farming techniques and connection to marketplaces, while simultaneously enabling them to receive payments directly in their Airtel Payments Bank account.
“Combined with 500,000 banking points of Airtel Payments Bank, the platform will provide farmers with access to neighbourhood banking, earnings stability, and income growth. This will be a significant move towards building a cashless economy,” it said.
The two companies will also work together to create customised solutions for small businesses across the country.
“These solutions will empower small and medium scale enterprises, who have limited access to finance, to make assisted payments, manage their financial and transactional processes, and also avail working capital in these times of crisis,” it said.
Airtel Payments Bank and Mastercard will work together to create differentiated card solutions, including solutions for contactless payments via NFC (Near Field Communication) for customers and merchants, it said.
Airtel Payments Bank has been working with Mastercard for the last three years to offer Mastercard-powered debit cards to its savings bank account customers in the country.
Airtel Payments Bank CEO Anubrata Biswas said, “Together, we aim to create products that will motivate customers to adapt formal banking behaviour, and start opting for digital payments.”
Porush Singh, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said digital payments have the potential to bring a positive change to the lives of millions of Indians.
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