India’s State-run Lenders and Co-operative Banks Join Move to Mobile Payments

Mobile banking is gaining popularity in India, with the number of mobile banking transactions doubling to 5.6 million in January 2013 from 2.8 million a year ago. The value of transactions increased tripled to rupees (INR) 625 from INR 191 in January 2012.

CICI Bank, which has the largest share of mobile banking payments in India, makes periodic offers to its customers to encourage them to use mobile banking services. The bank has partnered several service providers to offer customers discounts on their products and services and entered partnerships to allow them to make utility bill payments via mobiles.

“We have seen 100% growth in the number of people using mobile banking in the past one year. Transactions are up by 300% during the period,” an ICICI Bank spokesperson told local publication
Business Standard
. The private lender is also using its network of 10,000 ATMs and close to 3,000 branches to reach out to customers and make them familiar with the bank’s advanced mobile application iMobile.

Mobile banking has provided foreign banks with an option to grow customer base and expand their reach in India. Citibank is one of the first banks in the country to offer map-based location services. Its mobile applications are platform neutral and work across Android, Symbian and IOS platforms.

“Today, more than 16% of our online customers actively use our mobile banking platform. We have over a million banking users across Asia-Pacific and the number is much higher globally. In India, we have seen an increase of over 200% in transactions on our mobile banking platform in the last one year,” said Sridhar Iyer, director of digital business, consumer banking at Citibank India.

Greater Bombay Co-operative Bank reports that more than 11,000 of its customers have registered for mobile banking. “Getting customers on mobile banking platform was a major challenge for us. But we were sure that once a person starts using mobile banking, they will realise how easy and convenient it is to use. We decided to work from the root level,” said Narendra D Behere, chief executive officer (CEO) of Greater Bombay Co-operative Bank.

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