Bank, a subsidiary of the country’s leading integrated infrastructure finance company, IDFC Ltd., at a ceremony held in New Delhi today.
At the ceremony, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi also met the first customers of IDFC Bank’s ‘Sakhi Shakti’ and handed over account opening kits and a debit card to them. ‘Sakhi Shakti’ is the Bank’s Joint Liability Women’s Livelihood Group Loan facility. Customers transacted in the presence of the Prime Minister on IDFC Bank’s state-of-the-art micro ATM. The micro-ATM, for the first time, combines the capabilities of Aadhaar-based biometric verification, net banking as well as card swipe facility.
Union Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs, and Information & Broadcasting Shri Arun Jaitley, and Minister of State for Finance Shri Jayant Sinha, also graced the occasion. Shri Anil Baijal, Non-Executive Chairman and Dr. Rajiv Lall, Managing Director & CEO represented IDFC Bank at the ceremony.
Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, said that the banking sector is poised to achieve a big boost in growth in rural areas. He said this would be similar to the growth achieved by the telecom sector some years ago. The Prime Minister complimented IDFC for its successful journey of 18 years so far, and said that it was now embarking on a more challenging role, as it expands into banking, especially in the rural areas. He said that from helping to build infrastructure, the organization is now progressing to building lives (jeevan-nirmaan).
The Prime Minister said the entire banking sector is undergoing major transformation with the advent of latest technology, and the future of banking would not just be premises-less and paper-less, but also, eventually, currency-less, and this would help curb black money.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Lall, said, “We are truly honoured to have IDFC Bank launched by the Prime Minister. IDFC Bank will take forward the IDFC legacy – that of serving the nation – with even greater commitment and passion. There couldn’t have been a more opportune time to begin our journey in banking, given today’s supportive regulatory and macroeconomic environment.
“There are other favourable factors. The Indian consumer is aspiring for superior service and digital disruption is threatening the traditional banking model. The fundamental way of using technology is changing and the speed of adoption is incredible. These factors support the building of a new age, tech savvy bank in our country,” he added.
The first-of-its-kind micro-ATM demonstrated at the ceremony digitises all essential transactions, has an in-built tablet and can work on multiple identifiers i.e phone number, Aadhaar number, card and account number.
Dr. Lall said that with 90 crore Aadhaar card holders having biometric identification, 15 crore Indians using a smartphone, the number set to double in a year and half, and internet usage growing faster than ever before – an age of unconventional banking is inevitable.
IDFC Bank’s reach and 24/7 service proposition will be anchored in technology. As a bank with a public purpose, IDFC Bank will reach out to the underserved segments of Bharat, especially the self-employed and parts of rural India, currently excluded from the banking fold. The Bank will ‘simplify digital’ so that rural communities can integrate into the country’s larger digital revolution initiated by the government.
The Bank will have a differentiated strategy for these segments, using technology and a contiguous network to deliver ‘anytime, anywhere banking’.
The Bank has started operations with 23 branches across the country, 15 of which are spread across three districts of Madhya Pradesh. The Bank’s business units include Bharat Banking, Personal and Business Banking and Commercial and Wholesale Banking.
With a legacy of funding and supporting the country’s key infrastructure projects, IDFC Bank has a DNA of a lending institution that has actively supported the growth of the nation. The Reserve Bank of India granted a universal banking license to IDFC Limited on July 23, 2015. IDFC Ltd. demerged on October 1, 2015, transferring all assets and liabilities of its lending business (“Financing Undertaking”) to IDFC Bank Limited.