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HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri shares plans for wallets, food delivery and loans on mobile


Aditya PuriLast evening, Aditya Puri, the Managing Director of HDFC Bank, and the man who famously said that he does not use emails or has a mobile phone sent out a mailer to HDFC Bank customers. Okay, maybe he didn’t send it himself (because, y’know, it’s email), but the mail outlined the bank’s push for mobile adoption.

In the email, Puri told customers that the bank has “moved rapidly to ensure our participation in the new digitized world by moving from ‘Product’ to ‘Customer Centricity'”. The email also mentions what we could expect from the bank in the coming months:

“Wallet” (both credit and debit cards) which will allow you to access a large amount of the eCommerce sites through HDFC Bank on a fully secure basis and in a much more convenient manner in terms of execution by a click of a button while providing you the security of NOT having to give your credit card details to all and sundry.

We’ve already mentioned that HDFC Bank is going to launch their digital wallet soon. The bank also has tied up with Chillr which allows mobile-to-mobile transfer of small amounts of money in a very convenient manner. It’s worth noting that rival ICICI Bank earlier this week launched its own digital wallet called Pockets.

Instant Loans: you would be able to apply on a mobile or any access devices and receive approvals for loans (5 minutes) as well as disbursement (30 minutes from submission of documentation). Same applies to credit cards and opening of accounts.

This is certainly new. We’ve never really seen sourcing of loans on a mobile device in India. What’s more impressive is the turnaround time of five minutes the bank is looking at for a loan approval. We think that this could be their strategy for expanding their unsecured personal loan book. At the end of the September quarter, HDFC Bank had one of the largest personal loan book which stood at Rs 23,137 crore, growing 19.79% YoY. It will be interesting to see how their strategy plays out.

 Food delivery: We are also examining the feasibility of launching a facility to book and pay for your breakfast or meal at select restaurants as a ‘take away’ or served to you when you reach. This facility has variants like payment of pocket money to the kids, school fees, books, etc.

This is would mean that the bank is now getting into the space of online food delivery websites such as FoodPanda and Meals on Wheels. The bank certainly has the retail capability to extend to restaurants as many are merchants. It would be interesting to see how their delivery model would be like.

NFC payments: We will also be launching contactless payments which will allow your mobile phone to be used as a credit card in select outlets.

ICICI Bank has already rolled out NFC -based contactless cards, while the bank said that it would also look at extending it to their mobile devices, perhaps HDFC Bank would also benefit from NFC cards considering they are the largest issuer of credit cards in the country with over five million in circulation.

Supply chain payments and other B2B transactions ‘online’ are at various stages of launch.

With the boom in ecommerce, it’s not surprising that the bank is looking to cash in on B2B payments as well. The specifics are awaited.

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