Private lender Axis Bank is partnering with domestic remittances company, Suvidhaa, to offer funds to the lowest strata of the society (urban poor), such as rickshaw pullers, taxi drivers, tailors and barbers. Suvidhaa has been the bank’s business correspondent for many years now – processing remittances of more than 35 million customers through its retail touch points.
Offering credit was thus the only next logical step.
Earlier, the bank in partnership with Suvidhaa Infoserve had launched Axis Bank-Suvidhaa Prepaid Card, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the banking industry that leverages the e-KYC platform for instant on-boarding, cash deposit and withdrawal for the customer.
In a separate move, Axis Bank has announced its ambitious plans to further strengthen its remittance offering in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region by providing new channels of money transfer to existing NRI customers. The Bank continues to expand its partner network across the GCC region with specific focus on getting into more arrangements with correspondent banks while continuing to actively manage our large existing exchange house relationships. This has resulted in a robust growth at a CAGR of 26 per cent over the past three years in remittance volumes from the UAE.
The State Bank of India (SBI) held a social media campaign, #InMyHome, across Facebook and Twitter to spread awareness around its home loan variant, SBI Flexipay Home Loan. The scheme allows borrowers to get higher loan amounts compared to their loan eligibility under regular home loan schemes.
Visa, for the first time in its 60-year-old corporate history, has rolled out a platform that lets developers access to its payments technology, products and services. The company’s Bengaluru-based technology development centre played a key role in the programme, Visa Developer. The new platform will offer access to some of Visa’s most popular payment technologies and services including account holder identification, person-to-person payment capabilities, secure in-store and online payment services such as Visa Checkout, currency conversion and consumer transaction alerts. The company plans to provide access to more of its payment capabilities over the next year.
ICICI Bank launched a mobile solution development programme, #ICICIAppathon, to create new banking and financial solutions. Participants were asked to come up with new solutions and use the diverse set of financial services APIs (application program interface) to create innovative minimum viable mobile solutions, giving a superior experience to the end user.
The top three winners will be awarded prizes over Rs 20 lakh along with a potential engagement opportunity with ICICI Bank. They will also be given a chance to be mentored by the programme partners and get a fast-track entry into NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Program. Additionally, a 3-month full-time membership for up to two members of the winning team will be provided across 91springboard hubs in India.
Travel major Thomas Cook India has partnered with State Bank of India (SBI) to offer savings holiday account to the bank’s customers. Through Thomas Cook Holiday Savings Account (HSA), SBI’s online banking customers will be able to pre-select a holiday and save for it through recurring deposit with the bank.
This is another growing example of travel firms offering innovative plans that allow people to save money for big-ticket vacations. Under these savings holiday plans, customers choose the destination and save money for 12 months with the travel company’s banking partner under a recurring deposit account. The 13th installment is a combination of the interest accrued from the recurring deposit and a top-up as a discount put in by the travel company.
Through this scheme, customer’s will be offered inflation proof holiday as they pay for a future holiday at current prices, while also earning interest linked to the e-recurring deposit.
Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank will introduce new products and scale up its presence in the retail lending segment from the next financial year. The products, targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), housing reconstruction or home loans of lesser value, vehicle financing and loans against property, are expected to be introduced next fiscal onwards. Currently, some of the retail loan offerings are being tested across states on a smaller scale.
In a separate move, the Bank announced the launch of an international debit card in association with Visa. It has also started offering banking services to overseas Indians. Bandhan said the new debit card will be accepted globally at more than 30 million Visa merchants, either online or in-store, and allow card holders to withdraw cash at 2 million ATMs worldwide. The card will have two variants - Visa Classic and Visa Platinum.