HDFC Bank adds 250,000 customers by opening an account immediately in lockdown


Despite the lockdown, the largest private lender, HDFC Bank, has won 250,000 new customers in the past 40 days through an online facility that helps open savings accounts instantly, sources said.

The account will be created with a “Limited Know Your Customer (KYC)” requirement and the customer will have one year to update all the details after the account is opened immediately, according to a report by the Press Trust of India news agency.

The “Instant Account App” was launched in late April when there was a strict lockdown across the country.

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Banks were classified as an “essential service” and were allowed to be open, but the blockage meant less customer traffic, which made the online alternative of opening new deposit accounts helpful.

“All 250,000 accounts opened are new bank customers,” a source said, adding that the average monthly minimum balance requirement is Rs 10,000 for large cities, Rs 5,000 for semi-urban centers and Rs 2,500 for rural centers.

Most of the accounts opened are from containment zones and red zones in subways and urban areas, the sources said, adding that activity has also been recorded in semi-urban and rural areas.

The account is opened with basic KYC data such as the Aadhaar card, a valid PAN (permanent account number) and a one-time password via SMS and activated immediately.

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Much of the transactions observed with such accounts are online shopping and cardless cash withdrawals from ATMs that can be started through the app, they said.

The bank had promoted instant account opening through social media, emails and WhatsApp messages, they said, adding that word of mouth had helped too.

According to RBI, individuals can opt for such a limited KYC account and the maximum balance on such accounts has reportedly been capped at Rs 1 lakh.

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