HDFC Bank MobileBank Account joins Vodafone m-paisa
Chomu village, Jaipur Nov 28, 2011: HDFC Bank and Vodafone India have joined hands to launch a mobile banking solution for the “unbanked” . It combines HDFC’s “MobileBank Account” with Vodafone’s “ m-paisa” . 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.
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.
Says Rahul Bhagat, Country Head – Retail Liabilities, Marketing& Direct Banking Channels, HDFC Bank: “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. Now, 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.”
Adds Sunil Sood, Director – Business Operations, Vodafone India: “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-pesa product running in three different countries of Africa, offering more than 17 million people, basic financial services, beyond the reach of traditional banking”