DBS Bank to soft launch its mobile banking platform in India

Singapore’s DBS Bank will soft launch its digital/mobile online banking platform this week reports NDTV. The platform will be rolled out in phases in cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. The bank will look to further launch in 60-70 new offline locations in the next few months, on getting approval from the RBI for setting up wholly owned subsidiaries.

DBS Bank was looking to evaluate its mobile banking platform by trying it out in one ‘big’ country first. India was selected after evaluating the Chinese and Indonesian markets as well. The bank mentions that it will spend the next couple of years focusing on the digital space, especially in India. It also mentioned that India currently accounts for less than 5% of the bank’s business, and hence was looking to expand.

Banks have been increasingly active in the online/mobile space, with various banks in the country launching apps, co-branded cards, handheld ATMs etc. Some of these initiatives include:

– Earlier this month, HDFC Bank tied up with ecommerce portal Snapdeal to launch a co-branded credit card. The card was aimed at Snapdeal’s customers in tier 2 and tier 3 markets, to adopt digital payments.

– In February, India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank introduced a new digital payments product  for mobiles which integrated a digital wallet, a physical prepaid card and a basic savings bank account. Pockets is available as an Android app. The bank added that the wallet will be introduced for iOS and Windows Phone devices soon.

– RBL Bank tied up with TranServ, a digital payments company, and iKaaz, a Bangalore-based NFC payments firm, partnered with DCB Bank to launch co-branded wallets too.

– Axis Bank also introduced multi-social payment solution ‘Ping Pay’ to enable customers with smart phones to transfer funds, person to person, including to non-Axis Bank account holders, using varied social media channels.

– HDFC Bank introduced a mobile application called PayZapp which brings together hundreds of e-commerce platforms on it and allows consumers to pay via a wallet.

– State run telecom operator BSNL partnered with Pyro, a telecom, financial and analytics company, along with Andhra Bank and Visa to announce SpeedPay, a semi closed open prepaid instrument.