Airtel Payments Bank Introduces Face Authentication for Aadhaar-enabled Payment System:
Airtel Payments Bank has collaborated with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce face authentication for the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) at its five lakh banking points. The move comes as one of the first initiatives of its kind in India, where four banks have partnered with NPCI to offer face authentication for AePS.
Importance of Face Authentication for AePS:
Ganesh Ananthanarayanan, COO of Airtel Payments Bank, emphasized the importance of the new feature, stating that “face authentication is an important addition to our existing bouquet of secure and simple banking solutions to drive financial and digital inclusion in the country.”
AePS allows customers to carry out financial and non-financial transactions at any banking point using their Aadhaar number or virtual ID to access their Aadhaar-linked bank account. Until now, transactions were being authenticated using the customer’s Aadhaar number and fingerprint or iris match in the UIDAI records. The new facility will enable customers to validate the transaction by undertaking face authentication along with the Aadhaar number.
Collaboration with NPCI:
The collaboration with NPCI will enable Airtel Payments Bank to expand its reach across the country, enhancing the accessibility of Aadhaar-based transactions. NPCI Chief Operating Officer Praveena Rai stated that “it is delightful to see Airtel Payment Bank implementing this feature for AePS transactions, which will enhance the reach of Aadhaar-based transactions across the country.”
In the first phase, Airtel Payments Bank will make the facility available for non-financial transactions such as balance enquiry and mini-statements. As per guidance from NPCI, Airtel Payments Bank will enable the functionality for other bank customers and the Bank’s customers at other banking outlets.
Testing Digital Payments through Feature Phones and IVR:
Airtel Payments Bank has also partnered with NPCI to test digital payments through feature phones. The company is testing interactive voice response (IVR), among other use cases, with NPCI for digital payments in tier-II and tier-III cities.
Here are some key points about Airtel Payments Bank:
Airtel Payments Bank is a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications company in India.
- It is India’s first payments bank, launched in 2017, with a focus on providing digital banking and financial services to the underbanked and unbanked population in the country.
- Airtel Payments Bank offers a range of services, including savings accounts, current accounts, money transfers, bill payments, and digital banking services.
- The bank operates through a network of banking points, which include Airtel retail stores, authorized banking points, and partner outlets.
- Airtel Payments Bank is a licensed entity under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and operates as a semi-closed wallet, which means that customers can only use it for transactions with the bank’s authorized merchants.
- The bank has partnered with various government schemes, including the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), to offer digital banking services to the unbanked population in the country.