Despite the lockdown, the largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has been able to add 2.5 lakh new customers in the last 40 days through an online facility which helps open savings accounts instantly, sources said. The account is created using a “limited know your customer (KYC)” requirement provision, and the customer has a year’s time after the instant account opening to update full details, the sources told PTI.
The ‘Instant Account App’ was launched in late April, when there was strict lockdown across the country. Banks were classified as an “essential service” and allowed to be open, but the lockdown meant fewer customer footfalls, making the online alternative helpful to open new deposit accounts. “All the 2.5 lakh accounts which have been opened are new bank customers,” a source said, adding that the minimum average monthly balance requirement is Rs 10,000 for metro cities, Rs 5,000 for semi urban centres and Rs 2,500 for rural centres.
Most of the accounts which have been opened are from containment zones and red zones in metros and urban areas, the sources said, adding that semi-urban and rural areas have also seen activity. The account is opened using basic KYC details like Aadhaar card, a valid PAN (permanent account number) and one-time password via SMS, and gets activated instantly.
A bulk of the transactions being witnessed with such accounts are online shopping and cardless cash withdrawals at automated teller machines (ATMs) which can be started using the app, they said. The bank marketed the instant account opening through social media, mails and Whatsapp messaging, they said, adding that word of mouth also helped. As per the RBI, individuals can opt for such an account with limited KYC, and the maximum balance in such accounts has been capped at Rs 1 lakh, according to reports.