India’s Central Bank Urges Mobile Banking Adoption Initiative

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that itlaunching a new campaign to urge domestic financial institutions to collectcustomer mobile phone numbers in an attempt to bolster the use of mobilebanking (m-banking) services. According to the RBI, India has around 870million mobile subscribers and 450 million bank account holders yet just 22million active m-banking customers, leaving ample room for growth andimprovement.

In the RBI’s latest initiative, it will encourage domesticbanks to try and get customers to share their mobile phone numbers so that theycan be registered in a central database. RBI says two means in which this canbe accomplished is by prompting customers to hand over their phone numbers whenthey use an ATM or visit a branch.

For customers that may have already registered but do notuse mobile banking, the RBI suggests sending text messages or sending remindersthrough online banking portals. Furthermore, the RBI says that all banks shouldbe collecting phone numbers when they open new accounts.

While the lack of adoption of mobile banking services is abit surprising, there must be an underlying reason why Indian consumers wishnot to use these services and thus simply registering and encouraging their usemay or will not be sufficient to generate higher rates of adoption and use.


Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group

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