HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank bring sops for customers ahead of festive season

Aditya Puri, MD and CEO of HDFC Bank, said online businesses are seeing good growth
At a time when most sectors in the economy are struggling to find their feet due to the virus induced slowdown, the country’s largest private sector lender, HDFC Bank, has said that its business is back to pre-covid levels and that it sees a great future for itself going ahead, as it has managed to build a strong balance sheet and a strong brand.

"If you talk to the automobile industry, steel industry, FMCG industry, see the semi-urban India, rural India, motorcycle segment, gold loan segment, tractor segment and the online market places, the growth is pretty good. However, there are also some sector which will take a little longer," said Aditya Puri, MD&CEO, HDFC Bank. "We are confident about the future. We have achieved pre-covid levels. And in a few segments, we will exceed the pre-covid levels." 

Echoing these sentiments, Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said that as far as the bank's customers are concerned, the overall spends is at 90 per cent of pre-covid levels and if adjusted for travel and tourism, it is above pre-covid levels in September. The e-commerce segment is seeing around 130-140 per cent spends of the pre-covid levels. And the bank is expecting a 40-45 per cent jump in spends during the festive season due to pent up demand. Normally, the lender sees around 30 per cent growth in its business during festive season.

To boost consumer spending ahead of the festive season, both HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank have come up with sops for their customers, aimed at not only reviving demand and credit growth for the banking sector, but also improving the top-line for various merchants and partners associated with these banks.

Both the banks are offering a range of offers that include spend offers, which is typically done on credit, debit, or pre-paid cards. The festive season sops also include special deals on various categories of loans such as auto loans, personal loans and other consumer loans.

HDFC Bank launched its ‘Festive Treats 2.0,’ where it has tied up with retail brands to offer discounts, cashbacks and extra reward points on both in-store and on-line purchases. E-commerce majors such as Amazon, TataCliq, Myntra, Pepperfry, Swiggy and Grofers will offer special deals during this time for HDFC Bank customers. The bank has also tied up with hyper-local stores and 'kiranas'. In the loans segment, the bank is offering 50 per cent off on the processing fees on auto loans, personal loans and business growth loans and zero processing fee on two-wheeler loans.

Similarly, ICICI Bank has also tied up with leading e-commerce companies so that its customers can avail various offers on categories such as electronics, apparels, jewellery, health & wellness, grocery, food ordering, automobile and others. On top of that, the bank is offering, attractive interest rate on home loans, lower processing fees, tailor made EMIs in auto loans, no cost EMI on consumer finance loans.

“The festive offers are available for retail consumers as well as business customers with discounts on processing fee on loans, reduced EMIs, gift vouchers and more benefits. The Bank has tied up with leading brands to present these offers to its customers”, the bank said.

Parag Rao, Country Head – Payment Business & Merchant Acquiring Services at HDFC Bank said “Consumers have held back on purchases during the lockdown and there is a lot of pent up demand that has built up in the system. In the past 2-3 months we have seen renewed customer interest and buying patterns. We see this continuing through the festive season as well.

HDFC Bank is expecting to do better than last year in the festive season. Last year, the bank did the highest ever disbursal of two-wheeler loans through ‘Festive Treats’. They also disbursed highest ever personal loans, and saw highest-ever spends through debit, credit cards. “This year, we believe, that it will be bigger and better than last year because we have more number of partners and brands”, Rao said.

Last year, a lot of business for the bank was generated by walk-ins in to the branches. This year, however, lesser footfalls of wall-ins into the branch is expected but all of that has actually shifted to online.

Few days ago, country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has also come out with its festive season offers wherein it will waive off processing fee for customers applying for car, personal and gold loans through digital banking platform YONO. It will also give a concession of upto 10 basis points (bps) on home loans. It is offering the lowest interest rate starting from 7.5 per cent to customers opting for car loans. They will also get 100 per cent on-road finance on select models, SBI said in a statement.

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