Bharti Airtel and State Bank of India in talks over alliance

Indian telco Bharti Airtel and the State Bank of India are said to be in discussions over a mega alliance in the country.

A source confirmed to the Economic Times of India that both parties have initiated talks for a payments bank alliance which, if sealed, will have multiple synergies across subscriber base, rural infrastructure and rural penetration.


“The talks are at a preliminary stage and no final decision has been taken,” the source confirmed.

Bharti Airtel recently signed a financial services agreement with BGFI Bank in Africa, whereby Airtel Money customers with BGFI Bank accounts can transfer money between their bank accounts and Airtel money, check their BGFI account balance and confirm transactions.

“Banks cannot set up brick and mortar branches everywhere and that’s where telcos can provide the necessary mobile infrastructure that will drive financial inclusion,” said Rajan Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India.

Official confirmation of the deal is yet to be received.

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