He also said Kotak Mahindra Bank’s 811, a zero-charge digital account launched in March 2017 based on Aadhaar-based authentication, helped it grow its customer base from 8 million to 12 million in nine months. The bank now commands 8 per cent of India’s mobile transaction value.
Nilekani, the founding chairman of the Unique Identification Database Authority of India, said, “It is heartening to see how the banking industry, led by Kotak 811, has leveraged Aadhaar to reimagine bank account opening from days to minutes.”
“We have 1,400 branches across the country, about a 12th of the largest bank and probably a fourth of the largest private sector bank. We will add our footprint in a measured way… and combine it with digital customer acquisition,” said Kotak.
He added the bank currently covers about two-thirds of the country and that it was looking at a combination of digital and physical banking to scale. The bank, however, would not need as many branches as other players due to its digital presence, he said.
Nilekani said India had managed a unique payment system, largely bank-owned. The National Payments Corporation of India has introduced remarkable innovations. Unlike western markets which evolved from card-based transactions to digital payments, India has evolved from peer-to-peer payments to merchant payments thanks the unified payment interface.
“Aadhaar simplifies the KYC (know your customer) process,” Nilekani added.
Kotak Mahindra and associates are significant shareholders in Business Standard Pvt Ltd