Airtel Payments Bank has reported a loss of Rs 338.8 crore for the financial year 2018-19, up 24% from Rs 272.6 crore in FY18, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
Airtel Payments Bank is the banking entity of telecom major Bharti Airtel that offers digital payments and services.
The RoC filings also show that the company posted a revenue of Rs 254.4 crore, an increase of 59% from Rs 160.2 crore in the last fiscal.
In June 2019, Airtel Payments Bank enabled unified payments interface(UPI)-based payments at more than 500,000 merchant points across India, allowing users to make digital payments by using any BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) UPI-enabled bank or payments app over mobile phones.
Airtel Payments Bank is among the six payments banks in the country. Other companies that operate payments banks include One97 Communications-operated Paytm, Reliance Industries’s Jio and the government-run India Post.
Payments banks in India face the issue of limited channels of revenue and high infrastructure costs.
In July 2019, Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank (ABIPBL) decided to shut operations 18 months after its launch. It said it was closing down because of “unanticipated developments” in the economic environment that made the business model unviable.
Payments banks can offer savings accounts and payments services but are not allowed to offer loans or issue credit cards. Payments banks also face other restrictions as customers can deposit only up to Rs 1 lakh.