The country’s largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank on June 15 said its mobile banking app was facing some technical glitches but the issue is now resolved.
Earlier today, the bank had informed customers that the mobile app is experiencing some issues and requested that they use the net banking services for transactions. “We are experiencing some issues on the MobileBanking App. We are looking into this on priority and will update shortly. Customers are requested to please use NetBanking to complete their transaction. Regret the inconvenience caused,” HDFC Bank tweeted.
The latest technical glitch happened at a time when the bank’s IT infrastructure is already under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) audit for a series of technical problems reported.
In December last year, the RBI clamped down on the bank, prohibiting it from proceeding with any new digital launches in the backdrop of a series of glitches in its digital channels over a period of two years.
An RBI-appointed third party-audit of the bank’s IT infrastructure is currently underway. The ban has presumably benefitted its rivals, including ICICI Bank Ltd, by offering them an opportunity to gain customers.
Even as the bank awaits RBI clearance, the lender has big plans for the digital space. Under new chief executive officer (CEO) Sashidhar Jagdishan, HDFC Bank wants to claw back lost ground in the digital business, overcome legacy issues that have put the lender under a cloud in the past two years and team up with new technology partners to cement its position as the country’s preeminent bank, Moneycontrol reported on June 9. To be sure, the project is still in the planning stage and will take time to reach fruition. “This initiative is part of long-term planning, maybe for the next 10 years or so,” a senior executive at HDFC Bank said on condition of anonymity. “The existing
problems need to be addressed to progress to that stage.”
Part of the plan is to build a “digital bank within the bank,” according to a June 2 report by Bernstein Research titled HDFC Bank: A digital bank within the bank with Zeta? The report outlined a plan for a major revamp within the bank to create a digital bank for new customers, eventually encompassing its entire retail customers base.
“Is HDFCB building a digital-native bank within the bank? This is what it seems like from public posts of a startup called Zeta (private). Zeta’s pitch is to be the cloud-native ‘Omni-Stack’ for banks – a single software solution for cards, loans, deposits with customizable web and mobile interfaces.” Berstein Research said.
Already, HDFC Bank has drawn up a digital expansion road map–what it calls a Digital 2.0. The bank has a number of digital launches planned across various business verticals under the initiative including the launch of an auto portal, which the bank calls a one-stop shop for all vehicle loans. The bank describes Digital 2.0 as “the next phase of our digitisation journey.”
Other initiatives include My Account My Choice where current account, savings account (CASA) customers can choose any account number of their choice when they sign on as an HDFC client. It will offer card-less cash withdrawals, WhatsApp Banking and smart slips that enable customers to fill in cash deposit, withdrawal and cheque deposit slips through NetBanking, using a reference ID, and complete the transaction at a banking outlet. Some of these services have already been launched.
HDFC Bank is one of the biggest card issuers in the country with 15 million credit cards and 33.8 million debit cards as of December-end. HDFC Bank’s retail portfolio had grown by around 7 per cent in the year ended March. Within the retail franchise, HDFC Bank expanded its credit cards business by 12 per cent and home loans by around 10 per cent.