Airtel teams up with Odisha utility to offer bill payment solution
By Team Startupcity | Monday, 05 September 2022, 08:58 IST
Bharti Airtel has launched a pilot project in partnership with TP Northern Odisha Distribution to offer bill payment solutions to more than two million registered customers of the utility, said a senior executive at India's second largest telecom operator.
The initiative will mobilise the 4,000 banking points of Airtel Payment Banks (APB) in north Odisha to facilitate bill payments. Customers of the joint venture between Tata Power and the Odisha government simply need to visit the store and provide their contact numbers and consumer numbers at the banking point.
Airtel IQ business head Abhishek Biswal said that the company's ambition is to scale this project across Odisha and eventually partner with other state electricity boards for similar solutions. APB has nearly 500,000 outlets across the country.
Airtel IQ is a unit of Airtel's enterprise business. For the quarter to June, Airtel Business reported revenue of Rs 4,365.6 crore, up 15% year-on-year. Its contribution to the overall revenue stood at 19%.
Biswal said Airtel IQ is working on providing more simplified payment solutions. For example, it is currently developing UPI over IVR service where customers can make payments over a call. "Once the customer decides to make the payment, we can pull the UPI id attached to the number and send a payment link through which the customer can make the payment," he said.
The project is at the National Payments Corporation of India certification stage. The certification ensures that the process has minimal risk of digital fraud.
Biswal said Airtel IQ has identified WhatsApp as a crucial communication platform. Bharti Airtel is the sole telco to be a business solutions provider to Meta globally, which makes the telco a licensee of WhatsApp for business. "We are also looking at integrating Instagram Chat and Google Business Messaging in our CPaaS offerings in the coming months," he said.
Airtel IQ is also bullish on its cloud contact centre service.
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