Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal has urged the government to provide banking licences to telecom companies, and suggested that lenders should move out of banking services in areas which were financial unviable for operating a branch or an ATM. Banks should leave it to operators to manage sevices in such areas, he added.
“The banks have to recognise that they will never be efficient at the lower end of the financial inclusion spectrum. It is not at all possible for them to deliver without making huge losses, they should leave that space for the telecom companies,” Mittal said while speaking at the IBM Think Forum here on Tuesday.
Companies such as Airtel are awaiting a payments bank licence. The initial set of guidelines were issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year and the first set of payments bank licences are likely to be issued by the end of August.
India has about 90,000 bank branches and about 100,000 ATMs. “You do not need bank branches and ATM mobile phones are branches and ATMs rolled into one and there are 850 million mobile phones,” Mittal said. He also highlighted the growing concern of data security and the need for business models to address the issue.