Airtel Payments Bank on Monday launched 'Suraksha Salary Account', designed specifically for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). India's MSME sector has over 60 million units and accounts for 29 per cent of India's GDP. These units employ a large number of informal labour force who are not eligible for social and healthcare benefits as part of their salaries, and lack of any financial protection makes them vulnerable, particularly in the current times, Airtel Payments Bank said in a statement.
"Suraksha Salary Account has been designed specifically for this consumer cohort. Through this innovative account construct, MSMEs and other organisations will be able to make cashless payments and also provide a financial security blanket to their employees," it said. The account offers benefits such as Hospicash Insurance and personal accident insurance cover, keeping in mind the low penetration of insurance in India.
The account has no minimum balance condition. Account-holders will be able to make cash withdrawals at Airtel Payments Bank's 500,000 banking points across India. Customers will also be able to make cash deposits and transfer money at these points.
"There are no charges on cash withdrawals of up to Rs 50,000 and deposits of up to Rs 20,000 in one month," the statement said. On Hospicash Insurance feature, it said that in the event of hospitalisation, the account holder would be entitled to a fixed cover of Rs 400 a day up to a maximum of 10 days. "The policy will cover COVID-19 as well and mitigate the impact on the account holder due to potential loss of pay and savings during hospitalisation," it said.
Commenting on the offering, Airtel Payments Bank CEO Anubrata Biswas said, "Our research reflected how lack of protection makes the workforce susceptible to financial setbacks, particularly in case of illness. With this consumer insight, we developed the Suraksha Salary Account to enable MSMEs to offer financial protection and formal banking experience to their employees.