The rise of financial technology startups that provide affordable technology for payment processing has transformed the banking and payments industry in India. The country’s central bank has proactively promoted discrete banks such as small banks, NBFCs and payment banks to expedite financial inclusion. With increasing competition and evolving customer needs, HDFC Bank is transforming its operations to retain as well as grow its market share in the country. The bank has launched a digital banking offering called “GoDigital” which centres on the theme of “Bank aapki muthi mein” – meaning “Bank in your hand.”
HDFC Bank recently rolled out an app called “PayZapp” that will combine hundred of e-commerce platforms with the bank. This move is expected to augment HDFC’s dominance in the emerging online commerce sector. HDFC Bank's entry is significant considering that it is the market leader both as a card issuer and a payment processor for merchants, accounting for 40% of all e-commerce transactions in the country. Customers need not separately download apps like Flipkart, MakeMyTrip and BookMyShow, etc., as these are integrated into the app itself. The bank believes that on a monthly basis, customers can save at least 10-15% by using the app. The app will also give customers options to send and receive money, make bill payments, book hotels, buy tickets and even make grocery purchases. The app is currently available for android and iOS users while the windows version is soon to be launched. Once a customer (even non-HDFC Bank customers) registers for a digital wallet, they can transact on most websites using only wallet credentials. The app will also enable contactless payment using near field communication (NFC) by means of flashing the phone in front of readers that can accept NFC payments.
Other key initiatives taken by the bank:
Early this year, the bank had launched Chillr—a mobile app that allows users to instantly transfer money to any contact in their phonebook 24x7. The bank had partnered with Kochi-based technology firm MobME to launch this app. The receiver of the money need not have an HDFC Bank account. The Chillr app will benefit various segments of people such as students, young professionals and migrant workers, and provides the convenience to send and receive money using a mobile phone in a secure way.
Last year, the bank had improved its mobile banking apps allowing more than 75 banking transactions apart from the essential transactions such as bill and tax payments, booking fixed and recurring deposits, buying insurance, and mutual funds, and loans. The app also provides customized, location-specific promotions and offers on shopping, dining, movies, and entertainment.