After coming out of a shadow ban by RBI on issuing new credit cards following incidents of outages in the lender's internet banking /mobile banking/payment utilities over the previous two years, and after successfully issuing over 21 lakh cards last year, the country's largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is ready with the new digital roadmap over the next few quarters.
The Reserve Bank had lifted curbs from HDFC Bank after eight months in August last year. Finally, in March 2022, the RBI lifted all restrictions placed on the bank, including digital launches.
“We have taken multiple steps to ensure a robust, scalable and secured technology setup is strengthened even further. We continue to rigorously monitor the progress and are now fully geared up to launch the programmes under various digital umbrellas over the next few quarters,” HDFC Bank's chief financial officer R Srinivasan Vaidyanathan told analysts in an earnings conference call.
The transcripts of the call were submitted to the stock exchanges on Monday.
According to Vaidyanathan, during the last quarter of the fiscal ended March 2022, the bank received a total of 234 million (23.4 crore) visits on its website, averaging 29 million (2.9 crore) unique customers per month with a year-on-year growth of around 8 per cent.
RBI removes embargo on digital 2.0 programmes of HDFC Bank
“Our progress over the past year has resulted in the lifting of the restrictions on the new card acquisitions in August 2021 followed by the removal of the embargo on digital 2.0 programmes in March 2022,” he said.
The official said the bank's analysis showed that it had received 35 per cent to 75 per cent more visits on its website than its public or private sector peers. “Close to 57 per cent of the visits were through mobile devices indicating the mobile simplicity of the footfalls,” he pointed out.
HDFC Bank's franchise-building continues to remain robust with a persistent focus on granular deposits as well as bringing in new customer relationships which has further strengthened the position to gain market share, he added.
“Retail constituted over 80 per cent of total deposits, the bank had 16.5 million cards (1.65 crore) as of March 2022, and during the quarter we have issued 8.2 lakh cards, further we have issued 21.8 lakh cards since lifting of the embargo in the seven months of this financial year (FY22),” Vaidyanathan said.
He said the card spends have grown by 28 per cent over the prior year. The bank has 3 million (30 lakh) acceptance points as of March 2022 with a year-on-year growth of 37 per cent.
With regard to the bank's payment app PayZapp, which is being refurbished, Vaidyanathan said: “PayZapp launch is probably a quarter away. I would say we have several plans on that, from a close user group to making to selective customers and then getting to broad base…”
Last week, the lender posted a 23 per cent jump in standalone net profit to Rs 10,055.20 crore for the March 2022 quarter, led by growth in loan demand across categories and trimming of provisioning requirements due to fall in bad loan proportion.