Will comply with data localisation norms, says American Express Banking Corp India

Surabhi Mumbai | Updated on July 22, 2021

Firm working on expanding presence with higher customer engagements

American Express Banking Corp India told the Reserve Bank of India that it will comply with the data localisation norms. The RBI, in April this year, had restricted American Express from on-boarding new domestic customers onto their card networks from May 1 for violating data storage norms.

Manoj Adlakha, SVP and CEO, American Express Banking Corp India told BusinessLine that the bank continues to believe India is a strategic market for the company. “We are working very closely with the RBI. We are always very mindful that if there is a law of the land, we would be fully compliant,” Adlakha said.

Meanwhile, the company is working on expanding its presence in the country with higher customer engagements and more merchant partnerships.

“Right now, the key focus is in ensuring customers spend more than what a typical customer spends in the industry. We are focussing on increasing the spends per customer and make sure they stay engaged with us,” he said.

Appealing to millenials

He explained it is a myth that American Express cards attract only High Networth Individuals and said it also appeals millennials. “In 2019, about 40 to 45 per cent of our card acquisition were millennials. We have a suite of products focussed on different target segments,” he said.

The company has also focused heavily on adding new merchants, especially small merchants and everyday spend categories onto its networks. There are close to 15 lakh merchant partners in India. The local merchant coverage has grown 10 times in the last five years, with 5.5 lakh new merchants added in the last two years.

Commenting on trends in spends post the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Adlakha said it’s still very early. He, however, expects a very quick revival of spends — as was seen in the three months of December 2020 and January and February 2021 — if there is no third wave. The bank has not seen any stress in terms of repayments.

“Industries where credit card spends have gone up significantly are groceries, insurance premium, utility bills, health and hygiene, savings, even OTT and entertainment,” he said, adding that within the online category spends there has been an uptake in education, online classes, health and wellness, online retail and dining or ordering in food.

Published on July 21, 2021

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