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Axis Bank and PayNearby partner to launch Savings and Current Bank accounts for last mile SMEs and customers at a nearby store

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Aims to re-bank India and ensure that every household in the country has easy access to opening and operating a bank account

 

Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, has partnered with PayNearby, India’s largest branchless banking and digital service network, to offer seamless opening of savings and current bank accounts for both last mile retailers and customers. Enabled by Aadhaar led authentication (eKYC), the opening of these bank accounts at a nearby local store will ensure easy access, greater convenience and a hassle-free process for customers. This partnership will empower Axis Bank and PayNearby to reach out to potential customers in remote regions of the country, and address common issues faced by them such as hassle of documentation, long processes, technology, lack of proximity and fear of a formal environment.

This initiative will enable Axis Bank to leverage PayNearby’s tech-backed Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) network of 50+ lakh micro-entrepreneurs across 20,000+ PIN codes, ensuring that credible and easy to access financial solutions are available across the length and breadth of the country. Backed by Axis Bank’s product innovation, operational best practices and brand credibility, this partnership aims to re-bank the nation and accelerate the efforts of providing an active bank account for every small business and household in Bharat. This will simplify banking for the retail shop owners and individual customers, and further eliminate the need for them to travel long distances to operate their bank account.

Speaking on the development, Munish Sharda, Group Executive and Head – Bharat Banking, Axis Bank, said, ‘’We have been continuously working on innovation-led partnership models to offer our customers a value proposition specifically designed to cater to their requirements. Our partnership with PayNearby will enable us to extend our banking services to a huge customer base in semi-rural and rural regions and offer them an array of facilities along with the opening of a bank account. Meaningful growth in India will be driven through financial inclusion and this partnership is yet another step towards strengthening our mission towards Bharat Banking.’’

Speaking on the collaboration, Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD & CEO, PayNearby, said, “For India to become financially and digitally empowered at the last mile, it is important that the local retailers are given the necessary tools for their growth. PayNearby, as an entity, is keen on improving and enriching the professional and personal lives of its retail partners. With this simplified current account option with India’s leading bank, Axis Bank, we are giving our partners better control over their money. We thank Axis Bank for making this process so easy and hassle free, and for introducing biometric based e-KYC enabled account opening, in our network. This will go a long way in allowing our retailers to maintain healthy financial practices and thrive.

With the savings account offering, we hope to partner with Axis Bank and re-bank India, so that every household in the country is able to operate an active bank account. Axis Bank’s brand credibility and operational best practices will ensure the process is simple, secure and easy to use, and combined with the local trust of the network, it will accelerate the adoption across the country. We hope to get Bharat to the formal financial fold at an accelerated pace and inculcate a savings behavior among the masses.”

“With this partnership, we continue to empower our retailers and customers while improving the reach of Axis Bank in the remote hinterlands of the country. We will continue to bring innovative services to ensure that our retail partners and customers progress in life. PayNearby, Zidd Aage Badhne Ki!” he added.

The local SMEs partnering with PayNearby will now be able to avail Axis Bank services with ease and can also upgrade their business transactions in an efficient way. Bringing this service to a nearby retail store will increase the uptake of Axis Bank’s current account at the last mile. In a diversified geography like India, where the cost of acquisition and servicing often becomes unviable in remote geographies, this model will benefit from PayNearby’s existing infrastructure, local trust and its high-end technology to make banking available for all.

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Union Bank of India goes live with RuPay Credit Card on UPI with Kiya.ai as a technology partner

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Nitesh Ranjan, ED Union Bank of India with Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director & CEO, Kiya.ai at the launch

 

Kiya.ai, one of the most innovative digital solutions providers in India, announced that Union Bank of India was among the first banks to launch NPCI’s UPI linked to Rupay Credit Card and UPI Lite on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform with Kiya.ai as their technology partner in this achievement.

The announcement comes after the RBI Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched RuPay credit card on UPI, UPI Lite and Cross Border payments for BBPS at Global Fintech Fest 2022.

Until now, UPI allowed the linking of bank accounts by mapping an account linked with a mobile number and an savings / current account. Earlier in June 2022, the RBI allowed the linking of credit cards with UPI, stating that RuPay credit cards would be initially linked with UPI “to provide additional convenience to users and enhance the scope of digital payments”.

Rajesh Mirjankar, Managing Director & CEO, Kiya.ai, “We are extremely delighted to partner with Union Bank of India in this pilot project of linking RuPay Credit card on UPI. Kiya.ai has partnered with Union Bank of India for various digital payment initiatives including UPI, UPI Lite, UPI linkage to credit card, and sandbox for API banking.  The linking of credit card to UPI will significantly enhance high-volume transactions while also increasing average amount per transaction given the ease of using credit facility on UPI. This is a game-changing initiative as it will ensure safe and contactless transactions, reducing the risk of credit card frauds too.”

Mr. Nitesh Ranjan, ED Union Bank of India said, “We are pleased to embrace the decision taken by the Reserve Bank of India and NPCI to enable Rupay credit cards through UPI. Union Bank of India is proud to be a part of this launch. This is a game changer as one would be able to use a credit card for doing payments using UPI. We are excited to partner with Kiya.ai on this journey, and together, we can provide a smooth user experience to customers and make India even more digitally advanced.”

As part of the pilot project, NPCI will integrate the UPI AutoPay feature with credit card transactions to reduce the risk of defaults on credit card payments.

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UK leaves Europe trailing in its embrace of digital banking

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  • People in the UK have embraced digital and online banking in a way that those across the rest of Europe have not, new research by CRIF finds
  • UK consumers are now twice as likely to prefer to apply for financial products and services online via website or in-app, compared to people in other parts of Europe
  • More than half of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products in-person
  • The research comes during the cost of living crisis where people in the UK are increasingly looking for greater support from their financial providers

UK consumers are significantly ahead of their European counterparts in their embrace of digital forms of banking, new data shows.

The research, commissioned by Europe’s leading provider of consumer and business credit information – CRIF – surveyed thousands of people in countries across the continent including France, the Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, and the UK, to better understand their attitudes towards financial services.

The findings show that people in the UK are nearly twice as likely as other Europeans to prefer applying for financial products and services online via website or app, including through online chat or video call functions (59% vs 33%)

It also finds that over half (53%) of Europeans still prefer to apply for new financial products – such as current accounts, credit cards or loans – in-person at a local bank branch. In comparison, in the UK only around one in five (23%) would now prefer to go in-person, showing consumers’ embrace of a digital-first approach to banking.

The data underlines the advancements and innovations that the UK’s financial services and fintech sectors have made when compared to other sectors across Europe. The UK continues to be Europe’s most attractive location for international investment into financial services*, with the UK’s fintech sector securing more than $9bn of investment in the first half of 2022, ahead of Germany, Europe’s second biggest fintech destination, with $2.4bn.**

Sara Costantini, CRIF’s Regional Director for the UK & Ireland, said:

“In a digitally dominated world, the way in which we go about our daily lives has changed. And nowhere more so than in banking and financial services. Our research shows that the UK leads the way in Europe when it comes to embracing digital and online methods, but there is still more we can do to utilise digital technologies to help more UK consumers to manage their finances.

“While some are reluctant to share data as they are worried about fraud and security, we should work to allay these fears. Technologies such as open banking are not only safe but can lay the foundations for increased financial support during the current economic crisis.

“Financial providers must do more to educate their customers about the benefits of online and other digital forms of banking to not only help them during the cost of living crisis, but also to drive widespread financial wellbeing and inclusion for all.”

While the UK’s embrace of digital financial services in comparison to the rest of Europe is positive, the research identifies several key challenges to furthering this progress and providing consumers with better services at a time when the cost of living is putting considerable pressure on people’s finances.

Despite growing demand in the UK for more tailored financial products and services – with 34% saying banks should doing more here to meet people’s specific needs at this time – nearly one in five (18%) are still concerned that they would be sold products which aren’t right for them.

When the issue of data is raised, over two-thirds of UK consumers (67%) express concerns that sharing financial data leaves them more open to fraud, underlining the need to educate and reassure customers that innovations like open banking have high security standards and enables a range of consumer benefits.

However, despite this hesitance, more UK consumers are acknowledging the benefits that sharing more of their financial information with providers can bring. CRIF’s research finds around a third of people in the UK would be prepared to share more financial information if it helped providers to better assess their financial situation and improve their ability to borrow (35%) or increase their credit limit (31%). The fact that there are more than 6 million active users of open banking services in the UK reflects this change*** and makes the country the leading adopter of open banking in Europe. ****

The research also shows that younger generations (18-34s) in the UK are significantly more willing to share their data with financial providers, with 53% saying they’d be comfortable doing so if it enabled them to qualify for higher levels of borrowing.

These findings are part of wider research by CRIF into the cost of living crisis in Europe, and its impact on consumer attitudes towards banking and financial services. The full report, Banking on Banks, will be published later this month.

 

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