Money & Banking

HDFC Bank leads pvt sector in expanding ATM network

Beena Parmar Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2013 Published on March 24, 2013

The country’s top three private sector banks appear to be outdoing each other in expanding their ATM network.

As at January-end 2013, their collective ATM network witnessed an average year-on-year growth of 31 per cent.

HDFC Bank led the private sector banks pack in expanding its ATM network.

India’s second largest bank ramped up its ATM network to 10,583 as on January, 2013, up by 44 per cent as compared with 7,346 in January last year.

According to the Reserve Bank of India data, the country’s largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, increased its ATM network by 26 per cent (year-on-year) to 10,040 in January 2013 from 7,952 a year ago.

Similarly, Axis Bank’s ATM network increased by 22.6 per cent to 10,391 from 8,475 last January.

Paresh Sukthankar, Executive Director, HDFC Bank, said, “We had fallen short on ATM expansion. So we wanted to catch up. If you look at our transaction pie-chart, a large volume of transactions go through Internet and ATM.

“It is important for us to have adequate number of ATMs. If our customer uses other banks’ ATMs, it costs us. So, we certainly want to ensure that our customers use our ATMs.”

As the first five transactions at other bank ATMs is free-of-charge for customers, banks, which have issued the ATM cards, have to pick up the tab.

Birendra Sahu, Senior Executive Vice-President, Direct Banking Channels, HDFC Bank, said, “The interchange charges are Rs 15 for a withdrawal and Rs 5/balance enquiry. This cost is incurred by us if our customer uses other banks’ ATMs.”

Sukthankar said, “Though the revenue is not very significant, the idea is to service the customers 24 by 7.

“Once, the branch hours are over, ATM is an alternative to branch banking.”

value-added services

Off late, ICICI Bank has been sending out emails to its customers who are using other bank ATMs to use its ATMs.

The message in one such mails said, “We understand that you felt the need to use a non-ICICI Bank ATM recently.

“We would like to inform you that transacting at your ICICI Bank ATM is not only safe and fast but also comes along with various benefits.”

Banks are promoting value-added services such as opening a fixed deposit, transferring funds, utility bill payments, pre-paid mobile recharge among others to get more customers to use alternate channels.

Ads and campaigns

Ritesh Saxena, Head, Personal Account and Direct Banking, IndusInd Bank, said, “To drive adoption and repeat usage, the bank is relying heavily on promoting the ATMs via advertising and market campaigns.

“Specialised offerings such as Choice-Money, card-less withdrawal, bank statement, cheque drop box facilities and 24x7 contact centre hotlines are provided by our bank.”

Romesh Sobti, IndusInd Bank CEO and MD, had told Business Line in January that about 75 per cent of customers using IndusInd ATM were non-customers.

“Our services are attracting them to us.

“Typically, 5-7 per cent of these customers migrate to us. I am interested in the savings bank account and not the Rs 15 that I get through inter-charge,” he said.

Apart from asking its customers to use the services by visiting the ATM regularly, the ICICI Bank customers can get a list of its ATMs in the vicinity through sms.

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Published on March 24, 2013
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