India's best bank for digital solutions 2023: Airtel Payments Bank
Airtel Payments Bank
In 2022, Airtel Payments Bank achieved an important milestone: profitability.
Back in 2015, it was among 11 companies that scored the very first approvals to set up payments institutions from the Reserve Bank of India. In 2016, it was awarded India’s first licence. In January 2017, Airtel opened its doors as part of the cashless revolution that prime minister Narendra Modi’s government touted as a national priority.
Whereas roughly half of the initial 11 payments banks did not gain traction, Airtel is thriving just as digitalization is upending the Indian economy. The team, led by CEO Anubrata Biswas, reported a 141% jump in net profit year on year in the fiscal year ended March 2023.
This first shift into profitability reflected strong growth in Airtel’s transacting user base and gross merchandise value. The user base has reached 157 million, making it, according to Biswas, “the fastest-growing digital bank in the world.”
And, in certain ways, perhaps the most impactful, too. Airtel isn’t necessarily prioritizing India’s well-served higher-income market. It is targeting the often-neglected underbanked segment, and in ways that aid New Delhi’s desire for more of India’s 1.4