HDFC Bank, one of India’s premier banks providing a wide range of financial products and services to its 37 million customers across India, was not only identified by the Reserve Bank of India recently as a Domestic Systemically Important Bank, but was also able to add many other feathers in its cap during this year. Like, its MD Aditya Puri was featured in Fortune Businessperson of the year list, an annual ranking of the world’s top 20 heads of companies. Besides, HDFC Bank also took many initiatives for the benefit of its customers and general masses, which you need to be aware of for your own benefit.
Here we are taking a look at 10 such big steps and initiatives of the bank during the recent months:
1. Change in norms for premium customers
HDFC Bank has recently changed its norms for premium customers. As per the new norms, effective from 9th December 2017, its ‘Classic’ customers will now have to maintain a minimum average monthly balance of Rs 1 lakh in the savings account/s or a minimum average monthly balance of Rs 5 lakh in a combination of savings accounts and fixed deposits. Earlier they were required to maintain a minimum average quarterly balance of Rs1 lakh in a savings bank account (to be maintained across savings bank accounts held by the customer and his/her immediate family) or a minimum average monthly balance of Rs 5 lakh in a combination of savings sank accounts and term deposits.
2. Cut in interest rate on savings bank accounts
Soon after interest rate on savings account deposits was slashed by SBI, Bank of Baroda and Axis Bank, HDFC Bank Ltd reduced interest rate on savings bank accounts by 50 basis points to 3.5 per cent for deposits up to Rs 50 lakh, effective from August 19, 2017. However, the bank said that it will continue to pay 4 per cent interest on deposits of above Rs 50 lakh. The revised rates are applicable to both resident and non-resident customers.
3. Linking of Aadhaar number to HDFC Bank accounts
HDFC Bank last month advised its customers to link their Aadhaar number to their HDFC Bank account before 31st December 2017 to keep their account active. “As directed by the Government of India, please ensure that you link your Aadhaar to your HDFC Bank account before 31st Dec’17 to keep your account active,” it tweeted in November. According to HDFC Bank, “as per the amendment in PMLA rules by the government, all bank accounts should be linked with Aadhaar by 31st Dec’17, failing which the accounts will become inoperative till the time the Aadhaar number is submitted and linked to the accounts.”
4. Launch of SmartUp Zones for start-ups
HDFC Bank some time back announced the launch of SmartUp Zones in its branches across India. A SmartUp Zone is an exclusive area inside the branch dedicated to start-ups. In the first phase, SmartUp Zones will be launched in over 65 branches in 30 cities across India, including Tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs. Through these zones, specially trained bank staff will offer tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs.
5. Launch of EasyEMI on Debit Cards
HDFC Bank sometime back announced the launch of EasyEMI on Debit Cards. With this, HDFC Bank customers are now able to make payments for items purchased using their debit card in easy installments. Customers will have a pre-approved loan amount available to them 24×7 and the entire process of making a purchase using debit cards in easy installments is completely paperless. Customers can simply swipe their debit card and select the EasyEMI option when making payment at offline as well as online merchants. Eligible customers will be informed by the bank on email as well as SMS.
6. Launch of all-in-one DigiPOS machines
HDFC Bank became the first bank in India in August this year to launch DigiPOS, a Point of Sale (POS) machine that offers a complete suite of digital payment options. DigiPOS offers customers various digital payment options such as UPI, Bharat QR, SMS Pay and PayZapp, in addition to the facility to pay through debit / credit cards. HDFC Bank has plans to convert its entire network of over 4 lakh PoS machines to DigiPOS without any investment by the merchants.
7. Launch of ‘Industry Academia’ for start-ups
HDFC Bank’s Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) launched ‘Industry Academia’ in September. The initiative, first-of-its-kind in the country, aims at mentoring and hand-holding fintechs and start-ups incubated at country’s top technical and B-schools. In all, over 50 such partnerships with institutes are envisaged in phase one of the initiative beginning with IIT-Bombay, IIT-Roorkee and CIIE at IIM-Ahmedabad. The objective is to identify potential fintech ideas at Incubation and Entrepreneurship cells in these institutes at a nascent stage, and help them evolve into a consumer-ready product.
8. Launch of UPI on Chillr
HDFC Bank this year launched its UPI on Chillr. With this launch, HDFC Bank UPI became available on Chillr, in addition to the bank’s Mobile Banking app. Launch of HDFC Bank UPI on Chillr was aimed at benefiting customers of 44 banks that are now able to conduct digital transactions seamlessly using the Chillr app. These transactions conducted on Chillr go through HDFC Bank’s UPI platform.
9. Launch of Digital Loan against Securities
In a first in the country, HDFC Bank this year launched an instant Digital Loan against Securities (LAS). With this, customers can now avail of a loan against shares in just 3 easy steps on Net Banking. HDFC Bank became the first bank in India to completely automate the entire process of creating an overdraft facility in a separate current account for loan against shares. The bank collaborated with NSDL to create a seamless customer experience.
10. Transforms lives in 750 villages
A tiny hamlet nestled in the north-east of India in November this year became the 750th village under HDFC Bank’s Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP). Through this programme, the 550 inhabitants of Umpathaw now have access to potable water and their children, a smart school with clean toilets. The Bank has a board mandate to cover 1,000 such villages by 2019. This initiative has so far impacted the lives of over 10 lakh people in 16 states across the country.