In order to make millions of Indians access to banking and money transfer through the extensive use of mobile phones, HDFC Bank and Vodafone India launched HDFC Bank MobileBank Account with Vodafone m-paisa nationally from the tehsil of Chomu, on the outskirts of Jaipur, Rajasthan.
RBI Deputy Governor, Dr. K.C. Chakrabarty, in the presence of HDFC Bank MD, Mr. Aditya Puri and Vodafone India Director – Business Operations, Mr. Sunil Sood, unveiled what’s effectively the country’s first-of-its-kind national initiative for financial inclusion through mobile banking.
HDFC Bank has appointed a Vodafone India subsidiary company as a Corporate Business Correspondent, thereby allowing the telco’s select retailers to represent the bank as sub-agents. By providing banking transactions at such sub-agents, this HDFC Bank-Vodafone India partnership effectively delivers last mile access to remote areas.
Under this initiative, HDFC Bank and Vodafone India have partnered to open HDFC Bank Mobile Bank Account with Vodafone m-paisa. Through this arrangement, customers can now perform basic banking transactions on the mobile phone and even deposit and withdraw cash, at appointed Vodafone m-paisa outlets, without having to go to bank branches.
In Rajasthan, the first state, where this national partnership has been implemented, over 2,200 retailers across 320 villages and 54 towns are already operational in opening HDFC Bank MobileBank Accounts with Vodafone m-paisa. Transactions include cash deposit, cash withdrawal, money transfer and balance enquiry.
Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Rahul Bhagat, Country Head - Retail Liabilities, Marketing& Direct Banking Channels, HDFC Bank, said, “There are 600,000 habitations but only about 89,000 bank branches in the country, making access to banking services difficult in remote areas. With this in mind, the partnership between HDFC Bank and Vodafone India is path-breaking as it leverages the telco’s significant distribution reach and provides customers the security of financial transactions offered by a bank. Importantly, all segments of society have demonstrated they are comfortable with using mobile phones. So, with HDFC Bank MobileBank Account and Vodafone m-paisa, anyone can open a savings account and transact at a bank-appointed outlet convenient to them, with the same sense of trust and security as if they were in a bank branch. HDFC Bank has a Board-approved plan to bring 10 million families under financial inclusion over a five-year period and we see this initiative, helping us achieve that objective.”
Mr. Sunil Sood, Director - Business Operations, Vodafone India, says, “Vodafone m-paisa is a great opportunity for a country like India to improve financial inclusion through mobile banking. It is a pioneering initiative modeled on the lines of Vodafone’s m-paisa product running in three different countries of Africa, offering more than 17 million people, basic financial services, beyond the reach of traditional banking. With Vodafone India’s reach and ability to connect to customers, we expect many million people to come into the banking fold through Vodafone m-paisa in the coming years. We are pleased to work with HDFC Bank, as partners, to jointly offer our products to our customers”.