There are more people using mobile phones than bank accounts in India. Mobile banking is gaining momentum as banking transactions by customers grew by 150% to Rs 1,566 crore in September from Rs 625 crore in January this year.
“Sharp rise in the use of smartphones and tablets has worked in favour of mobile banking,” said Rajiv Anand, president-retail banking, Axis Bank. “Smartphones and various banking apps (software applications) have made mobile banking simpler and safer for customers.”
Total number of transactions grew by 29% to 7,169,429 in September from 5,554,327 in January 2013, according to the Reserve Bank of India data.
Mobile banking is comparatively a new phenomenon in India as it started in 2000 when HDFC Bank became the first bank to launch mobile banking. Initially, banks did not see much transactions but a big shift happened with the advent of smartphones.
Though, smartphones are now generating major traffic on mobile banking, banking transactions can also be done on basic phones.
“Prices of smartphones have fallen significantly in the last few years and interned data charges have also declined, which has prompted customers to use mobile for banking transactions,” said Rajeeb Chatterjee, head mobile banking and ATM, HDFC Bank.
According to banks, customers in the urban areas are the major users of mobile banking.
“It is just the beginning. Mobile banking is set to witness a rapid growth in future with rise in the use of smartphones,” said Chatterjee.
At present, private banks are major players in the mobile banking space. ICICI Bank saw Rs 389 crore mobile transactions during September while HDFC Bank saw Rs 347 crore transactions in the same month.