India's central bank calls for mobile adoption drive

India's central bank calls for mobile adoption drive

India's banks are being urged to embark on a campaign to collect customer mobile phone numbers to help boost the country's so far sluggish take-up of m-banking services.

India has around 870 million mobile subscribers and 450 million bank account holders yet just 22 million active m-banking customers, according to figure published by the country's central bank earlier this year.

In its latest guidelines on increasing adoption, the RBI says that banks need to first find ways of obtaining mobile numbers of their existing account holders for registration in their databases. Customers should be confronted with alerts when they use ATMs and be asked to hand over their numbers when they visit branches.

For customers that have their numbers registered but do not use mobile banking, the RBI suggests sending text messages encouraging takeup, issuing prompts on their websites and promoting services via social media. Meanwhile, all new customers should be pointed towards mobile banking when they open accounts.

The central bank is also calling for greater customer onboarding standardisation, making it easy and quick to sign up to mobile services and to do so without having to visit branches. People should be able to register via bank websites, ATMs, an option provided in the USSD menu or even through a dedicated site built by the industry.

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