In the last seven months the bank has put an early warning system to manage large volumes, declogged processes and replaced old technology as part of its short and long term plan submitted to RBI, Rao said.
On December 3, in an unprecedented move the bank was barred from issuing new credit cards and launching any new digital products after multiple issues linked to digital banking, cards and payments on the bank’s platform in the last two years.
Rao said the bank had submitted to the RBI an immediate, short term and long term plans to correct issues and get bank to normal business which include an investment roadmap on how the bank plans to manage its growth in the future.
“We have been in touch with the RBI on a day to day basis and are now waiting to hear from them. In the last seven months we have utilised the time reinforce our salesforce and other channels. We have used the time to debottleneck our processes, quicken our software updates, identify points of failures with partners and put a framework to replace systems before there are any issues,” Rao said.
With 1.49 crore cards outstanding HDFC Bank is still the largest credit card issuer in India despite a slight drop in total cards from 1.53 crore cards reported in December. SBI Cards the standalone credit card company from State Bank of India (SBI) is number two with 1.19 crore credit cards outstanding.
has 1.07 crore credit cards outstanding.
Latest RBI data shows that HDFC Bank has lost about 160 basis points of market share in the business since end of November 2020 but still corners 24% of the market while ICICI, SBI Cards and Axis have gained 108 basis points, 37 basis points and 11 basis points to 17.2%, 19.2% and 11.6% respectively over the same period in terms of number of cards. One basis point is 0.01 percentage point.
Rao said HDFC Bank is preparing to return to the market “with a bang” whenever RBI removes the ban.
“Normally 75% to 80% of our cards are via cross sell opportunities to internal asset and liability customers and that will continue. We have 50 million customers but just 15 million credit cards. Though that gap will remain due to our strict credit policy, we have an opportunity to cross sell given our growth in liabilities and other assets of the bank over the last seven months,” Rao said.
The bank has created a large data base of such customers which can be offered a pre approved card by using their existing spending and credit profile.
“We have set milestones internally on what we are going to do. Firstly we want to get to the pre embargo run rate of cards and then increase our acquisition. We may have lost market share but we are still the largest payments bank with high spends,” Rao said.
In its plans to the RBI the bank has put out a roadmap for investing in its digital infrastructure, using cloud and API technology and also augmenting its data centre to process an increasing number of transactions in the future.
The bank will look to forge new partnerships in digital payments and build scale to gain lost ground, Rao said.