There is nothing called an unearthly hour when it comes to opening a bank account. This seems to the experience of Kotak Mahindra Bank. Customers are opening online ‘811’ savings deposit accounts from the comfort of their homes even in the wee hours, says Shanti Ekambaram, the bank’s President (Consumer Banking).

She underscored that her bank is experiencing tailwind in the opening of new deposit accounts (across channels — online as well as offline), with the number of accounts added in the first two quarters of FY18 being almost three times the number added in the year-ago period.

In the first two quarters of the current financial year, the private sector bank added 2.5 million accounts. As at September-end 2017, its customer base increased to 10.5 million.

“Obviously, ‘811’ has helped us (expand the customer base). It has given the customer a tool to open a banking account anytime….

“There is a lot of activity (account opening) post 7 pm and right up to 4 am because you can just sit in the comfort of your home and open an account in about two-three minutes (on an average),” said Ekambaram.

Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) had launched the ‘811 account’ on March 29, 2017. It is a online savings account that can be opened by downloading the bank’s app and authenticating oneself with Aadhaar credentials via a one-time password.

The account offers a zero-balance savings account with zero-charges for all digital transactions, where customers can earn 5 per cent on savings account balance up to ₹1 lakh; 6 per cent on balances above ₹1 lakh and up to ₹1 crore.

“It (811) has given a great fillip to our (customer) acquisition strategy. And we are getting customers from all walks of life.

Customer profile

“Roughly about 50 per cent of the customers who have come through this (811) route are from the salaried category. The remaining are professionals (self-employed), retired people, housewives, students, etc,” explained Ekambaram.

After the introduction of 811, the bank’s savings account (SA) deposits as a percentage of total deposits improved to 32.28 per cent as at September-end 2017 from 26.36 per cent as at March-end 2017.

Ekambaram said once the amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank with KMB was completed around September last year, on the consumer side KMB doubled the number of branches, doubled the base of customers, and there was a great opportunity to cross-sell into the bank’s network.

Now, 55-60 per cent of the bank’s incremental business (loan) comes through the branch network and the balance via the direct marketing side. The top KMB official pointed out that incremental business from the branch network was around 40 per cent about two years ago.

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