On the Go banking: Federal Bank and HDFC Bank rolling in banking services on vans

On August 17, which was the auspicious day of Chingam 1 and the start of the year according to the Malayalam calendar, the Federal Bank launched an innovative “Bank on the Go” pilot project in Madurai. “The idea is that instead of going to the branch, it will come to you,” said Shyam Srinivasan, the charming managing director and CEO of the Kerala bank. Activity areaadding that the aim is to bring banking services to underbanked rural areas.

While in the Madurai region, the Federal Bank van, sporting the brand’s bright blue and yellow colors, is already carrying out trials, reaching out to unbanked customers at their doorsteps, the pilot is also being launched in the capital. of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow.

Interestingly, a day later, on August 18, in Palghar, a town in the Konkan division of Maharashtra, HDFC Bank unveiled a concept of Bank on Wheels as part of its rural banking business. In September, HDFC also started piloting mobile banking in Ankleshwar, Gujarat.

The Federal Bank and HDFC said the innovative pilot projects are in line with the government’s financial inclusion goals. The pattern for both banks’ projects is that the vans will cover specific locations on different days of the week.

According to the Federal Bank, each van would have security personnel, in addition to support staff. It would offer a host of services, including opening new savings accounts, checkbook requests, fund transfers, as well as handling customer complaints. HDFC also offers 21 services through its van bank.

A recent World Bank report on financial inclusion, digital payments and resilience during Covid-19 had flagged India as one of seven countries that are home to half of the world’s 1.4 billion adults. without access to formal banking services. He pointed out that distance was a major barrier for 31% of unbanked adults.

By rolling these mobile banks, the two banks are breaking through some of the barriers that prevent people from accessing formal banking services.