Finance

HDFC Bank eyeing tenfold growth in merchant base to 20 million in three years

Country’s largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has set an ambitious target to expand its merchant base by ten-fold in the next three years, eyeing a sizable share of India’s rapidly growing digital payments market.

The lender is planning to reach out to more than 20 million small and medium merchants and also professional services like doctors, pharmacies, salons and laundry services across metro, semi urban and rural India in the next 3 years, the head of payments, consumer finance, marketing and digital banking, Parag Rao said on Wednesday. HDFC Bank has about two million merchants on its network as of FY20.

“Small and medium businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Rao said. “To further deepen the penetration of digital forms of payment across India, it is important that the merchant network is empowered with the best range of solutions.”

The lender on Wednesday launched a new banking and payment solution for its merchant called SmartHub Merchant Solution 3.0. This will allow merchants and self-employed professionals to instantly open a current account and start accepting payments both through physical and digital channels, the bank said in a statement.

It has tied up with global card network Visa to enable some of the payment solutions. The features would also be digitizing Khata, enabling collection reminders, inventory management, billing software and lending to merchants’ basis their banking history.

“It allows users to accept payments in multiple forms, including QR and our newly launched tap to phone solution, allowing millions of merchants to offer a superior customer experience and grow the business,” said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India & South Asia, Visa.

HDFC Bank is among the leading banks in the merchant acquiring business. It processes about 48% of the overall card transactions at merchant level in terms of volumes and about a fourth of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) volumes.

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