Airtel Payment Bank 1 Re. 1 Minute Offer? Really?

You may have heard about the Airtel Payment bank which was started last week in Rajasthan on a pilot project. Airtel is giving interest of 7.25% per annum on savings account which is highest in the market. Airtel said it has opened 10,000 accounts on very first day. They said this project is getting good response from people in Rajasthan. Here are the highlights of the offer:

Airtel Payment Bank Highlights :

  • Airtel is giving an offer in which if you deposit an account and deposit 10,000 INR you will get 10,000 minutes of talktime.
  • For every 1 Re., you will get 1 minute of talk time.
  • This offer is valid for only first time deposit.
  • Validity for free minutes is for 1 month only.
  • Free minutes can be used for Airtel – Airtel calls only.
  • Airtel is also giving insurance of 1 lakh per account.

Facts regarding Airtel payment banks

Here are the points which Airtel doesn’t disclose but these are the real facts which you can’t ignore. We have to understand the technicality of the offer more clearly.

  1. Let us consider the offer, how many minutes are there in a day, and for that matter in a month?? Around 43,200 minutes (30 days X 24 hours X 60 mins). That’s all. So of you maybe deposit anywhere around 40-50k in your Airtel bank account, you cannot get more than 43,200 minutes of free talk time. Still it’s a good deal and you’d imagine it works to your benefit but actually, you’d never get to enjoy the offer completely.
  2. How many hours does one talk in a day: Not 24X7 for sure. So let us assume that if a person probably talks on the phone approx. 4-6 hours a day. Yeah that’s pretty much it. No wonder, Approx. 7,200 – 10,800 minutes are utilized a month in voice calls. That would mean, any deposit above 11,000 would be useless, if you wish to utilize the offer completely.
  1. Another fine print about the offer is that the offer is only limited to Airtel-to-Airtel calling only, Under their “Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai scheme”, Airtel-to-Airtel free voice calls have been around since 2011. So what’s new?
  1. This means the entire introductory offer for Airtel bank is more or less redundant. This literally raises the question whether there was any offer to begin with or is this entire thing a ploy to acquire customers for the new Airtel Bank, plunging into question the integrity of the entire scheme.

Airtel cannot really give anything for free, not in it’s current financial crisis. While the bank is an innovative move in this cash crunched economy, more so than the debacle that was Airtel Money, one has to wonder whether it is enough a move to make itself a primary source of transactions in the world of well established digital wallets.

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