DBS unveils India’s first mobile-only bank, targets 5-mn customers

Account-opening can be done at an extensive network of outlets run by DBS’ partners which include over 500 cafes across India.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai | Published: April 27, 2016 4:04 am

DBS Bank, Singapore’s largest bank, has unveiled digibank, India’s first mobile-only bank, targetting five million retail customers.The bank said Digibank brings together an entire suite of ground-breaking technology — from biometrics to artificial intelligence (AI) —for customers, breaking away from conventional banking norms with their onerous form-filling and cumbersome processes, to a paperless, signatureless and branchless bank.

Account-opening can be done at an extensive network of outlets run by DBS’ partners which include over 500 cafes across India. Since there is no paperwork involved, customer authentication is done purely using the Aadhaar card, a biometrics-enabled ID which has been issued to over one billion Indians.

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DBS global CEO Piyush Gupta said the bank is targeting five million bank accounts in India with digibank and its wallet services. DBS India accounts for around 5 per cent of the bank’s global book. The bank has invested Rs 6,500 crore in India so far. “We selected India over other countries like China for the initial launch as the required infrastructure is already in India,” he said.

“We will be launching Digibank in China and Indonesia next,” he said, “We want to build a liability book of Rs 50,000 crore and an asset book of Rs 10,000 crore in the next two-three years on this platform,” Gupta said.

Indian operations of the bank account for about 5 per cent of its total book. While the lender has invested Rs 6,500 crore into India, in the last two years, the bank has infused Rs 1,700 crore of tier-2 capital and Rs 670 crore of tier-1 capital.

DBS, which has applied to the RBI to start a wholly-owned subsidiary in the country, plans to expand its Indian branch network in tandem with the Digibank initiative.

The company aims to increase the number of Indian branches to 75 from 12 in five years, Gupta said.

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