India: HDFC Bank plans mobile banks for microfinance

Apr 2008
Chennai, India, April, 23 2008 - Bank would soon launch its mobile bank for the benefit of microfinance clients and also to reach the unbanked and under-banked sections of the society, a senior bank executive said on Tuesday.

The bank was ready with the necessary software and to start with, mobile bank-cum-ATM would be introduced on trial basis in Coimbatore in a couple of months, K Manohara Raj, senior vice-president-microfinance, HDFC Bank, Chennai, told reporters here.

The mobile bank would help microfinance clients with financial services such as credit, savings, insurance and remittances at their doorstep, he said.

Depending on the success, the facility would be extended to other parts of the country. According to the estimate, the bank would require 800 such mobile banks, with each costing around Rs 40 lakh and Rs 1 lakh monthly expenses, he said.

Mr Manohara Raj said the bank has disbursed Rs 1,020 crore under microfinances, including Rs 300 crore for SHGs (self-help groups) up to March 2008, which was expected to increase by 50% this fiscal with SHGs covering one-third of the target by reaching out to 10 million poor households by 2010.

The bank would open eight more branches to provide financial services to SHGs — four in Tamil Nadu, two in Andhra Pradesh and two in Orissa.


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