DCB Bank is going to let customers carry out transactions, including opening bank accounts across all its branches, using the method of iris scan for Aadhaar authentication. The bank ran a pilot programme at around 10 branches, processing about 200 accounts, including opening 100 fresh accounts. For opening an account, customers have to share their Aadhaar number, and using an iris scan-enabled phablet, the bank will scan their iris. A bank representative will point the camera directly at the person’s eyes for about three to five seconds, and the Aadhaar details will be retrieved from the Aadhaar database. DCB Bank operates nearly 70 Aadhaar- based ATMs in the country. The ATMs use fingerprint authentication through Aadhaar instead of an ATM debit card and PIN to dispense cash. Existing customers can also update their Aadhaar number using the iris scan. DCB will roll out the feature to all of its nearly 250 branches across the country within the next six months.
Source: The Economic Times Wealth, January 30, 2017
India's second largest private sector lender HDFC bank is going to deploy atleast 20 humanoids in its branches in the next two years. The bank announced that it will introduce a humanoid IRA (intelligent robotic assistant) to help its branch staff in servicing customers. Developed using robotics and artificial intelligence technologies, IRA will be positioned near the welcome desk, where it will greet customers and guide them to the relevant counter in the branch such as cash deposit, foreign exchange, loans, among others in the first phase. In the next phase, IRA’s capabilities will be enhanced further by introducing features such as voice and face recognition for customer identification, voice-guided navigation, balance enquiry, and cheque deposit among others. The bank also has plans to connect its core banking platform to the humanoid to enable it to perform banking transactions.
Source: The Economic Times, January 27, 2017
The centre is going to roll out Aadhaar Pay service that will enable people to make and receive payments using only their Aadhaar number and thumb impression. Currently the service has been launched on a pilot basis by IDBI and IDFC. With this people will not require their phone or debit cards for payments. They can visit any merchant, share their Aadhaar number and verify themselves using biometrics to pay and receive money. About 2 crore Aadhaar numbers are linked to bank accounts every month. Currently 14 banks have come on board for Aadhaar Pay and some banks have already developed their applications which are in the testing mode. IDFC Bank was one of the first banks to roll out Aadhaar Pay which went live on December 20, 2016 at a fair price shop in Andhra Pradesh, inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. It was subsequently introduced to merchants in Delhi and Bihar.
Source: Deccan Chronicle, January 27, 2017
State Bank of India (SBI) launched ‘SBI Exclusif’, its wealth management offering in Kochi. It will be rolled out in other cities in the state during the course of the year. It aims to provide a comprehensive and best-in-class banking experience to customers. SBI Exclusif will be open to customers with a wealth base of Rs 30 lakh, which may be relaxed to Rs 10-15 lakh if the bank feels the customer has the potential for scaling up wealth; it also targets salaried individuals having a monthly income of more than Rs 2 lakh.
The bank has introduced an ‘open platform’ where customers will also have access to the best products across categories from market-leading institutions. SBI Exclusif offers services like an ‘e- Wealth Center’ that can deliver relationship management services remotely for extended hours. Similarly, Exclusif customers will also have the flexibility to view their portfolio, transact and invest through digital channels such as internet and mobile.
Source: The Hindu Business Line, January 25, 2017
The Airtel Payments Bank has officially launched nationally, making it the first payments bank in India. Officially live across all 29 states, there are over 250,000 Airtel retail stores that will function as banking points around the country. According to the Airtel Payments Bank website, for a cash withdrawal between Rs 10 - Rs 4,000, there is a fee of Rs 5 - Rs 25. For withdrawals more than Rs 4,000, customers will have to pay 0.65 per cent of the amount they are withdrawing. On top of that, customers will have to pay 0.5 per cent on all transfers to other banks, for an amount over Rs 1,000. Users of Airtel Money will be given the option of transferring their balance from the wallet into their Airtel payments bank accounts. The customers’ mobile numbers are their bank account numbers, and they get one minute of talk-time for every rupee deposited at the time of opening the account, capped at 500 minutes. The whole banking process at Airtel Payments Bank can be carried out digitally through an app (on both iOS and Android).
Airtel has also launched a Merchant App for digital onboarding. It will also not be charging any fees from merchants for now, so merchants don't need to pay anything to accept money via the Airtel Payments Bank, and they can self-declare as merchants, to speed up the process.
Source: NDTV, January 12, 2017
Citi India is set to end the long authentication process during phone banking, and replace it with a simple and short voice verification process. The bank is going to bring down the authentication completion time from an average 45 seconds to a maximum of 15 seconds, saving around 100,000 customer hours annually. Customers can enrol to record their voice prints during a regular phone conversation. During a call, the system will capture the voice track, accent and voice modulation. Each voice print will be uniquely tagged and stored in the database. After it is tagged, the next time the customer calls, the system will immediately tell the phone officer whether the person is indeed the account holder. Citi has partnered with Israeli software firm Nice to roll out the service and uses US-based speech company Nuance's authentication engine.
Source: Times of India, January 10, 2017
Bank of Baroda is going to offer home loans at an interest rate of 8.35 per cent, the lowest in the industry. The bank’s one-year marginal cost-based lending rate (MCLR) has been reduced to 8.35 per cent, on which it charges a premium of 100 basis points (bps) for home loans usually.
In case of existing home loan borrowers, the bank will allow those who are still on the base rate mechanism of calculating interest rates to convert to an MCLR- based rate free of cost. Similarly, the rate of interest on car loans and mortgage loans by the bank also starts at 8.85 per cent and 10.35 per cent respectively with the reduction of MCLR rates. On a home loan of Rs 50 lakh, reduction in interest rate by 0.70 per cent by the bank will help a home buyer to save Rs 2,496 per month and approximately Rs 9 lakhs during the loan tenure of 30 years.
Source Mint, January 10, 2017
India Post Payments Bank has kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in Raipur and Ranchi. The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5 per cent on deposits up to Rs. 25,000, 5 per cent on deposits of Rs. 25,000-50,000 and 5.5 per cent on Rs. 50,000-1,00,000. The paid up equity of the new bank is Rs 800 crore, of which the government has already infused Rs 275 crore. 1,000 ATMs of India Post will be transferred to IPPB which plans to have 650 branches across the country by September 2017. India Post Payments Bank is the third entity to receive payments bank permit after Airtel and Paytm. Payments banks can accept deposits up to Rs 1 lakh per account from individuals and small businesses. The new model of banking allows mobile firms, super market chains and others to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses. It will be set up as a differentiated bank and will confine its activities to acceptance of demand deposits, remittance services, internet banking and other specified services.
Source: The Hindu, January 30, 2017
Post demonetisation and in an effort to encourage online modes of payment, ICICI Bank promoted #LiveWithoutCashMovement. The idea was to ask customers to take the pledge of minimising cash transactions in the next 30 days, and also to encourage others around them to adopt electronic payment modes. The contest asked users to share how they were choosing to go cashless and also conducted polls to engage with them.
The hashtag ‘#LiveWithoutCashMovement’ generated 29.12 million + impressions by reaching out to more than 0.97 million+ unique users
In the month of January, HDFC Bank educated consumers on how they could save tax. This was done via LIVE Chat on their Facebook page. This engagement activity was cross promoted on Twitter via minimalistic visual based tweets using the hashtag #taxercise. To drive the communication, HDFC Bank developed a series of tweets asking consumers to be ready with tax planning before the end of the financial year.