Airtel Payments Bank has slashed its interest rate on deposits by 175 basis points (bps) from 7.25% to 5.5%, effective Thursday. According to a report on Business Standard, the company said it was trying to keep rates competitive and was keeping it higher than or at par with the competition. An Airtel Payments Bank spokesperson told Business Standard that the 7.25% interest rate was an introductory offer. Currently Paytm Payments Bank offers an annual interest rate of 4%, India Post Payments Bank has kept the rate at 5.5%. Airtel eKYC suspension December suspended Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based verification of customers. This was due to complaints that the telecom company had used the Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without taking their ‘informed consent’. Such accounts were also linked to get subsidies from the government. UIDAI, while suspending the e-KYC licence, had imposed a fine of Rs 2.5 crore on the payments bank. Partial e-KYC was then restored for Airtel but only limited to sim verifications. Timeline of events leading to suspension: In late September 2017, it was reported that Airtel Payments Bank had opened bank accounts without the informed consent of its customers and receives a notice from UIDAI. In November 2017, following up on several consumer complaints regarding non-credit of LPG subsidies the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said that it learnt that the subsidies had been credited their Airtel Payments Bank accounts instead. A sum of over Rs 47 crore was said to have been…
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