Number of bank messages rise manifold since demonetisation

Banks sent out messages to inform or educate customers about digital methods of banking or to provide details of their transactions


With the government’s move to demonetise high currency notes since 8 November, there was high dependence on cashless transactions due to shortage of physical cash in the economy. Photo: Hemant Mishra/ Mint
With the government’s move to demonetise high currency notes since 8 November, there was high dependence on cashless transactions due to shortage of physical cash in the economy. Photo: Hemant Mishra/ Mint

New Delhi: Are you getting more messages from your bank?

The volume of messages sent out by banks—both public and private—either to inform or educate their customers about digital methods of banking or to provide details of their transactions has increased manifold since 8 November, according to industry experts.

“We witnessed a surge of around 80-100% in the volume of messages sent out by private banks through our platform since the second week of November, whereas the volume for public sector banks increased by around 20-30% during the same period,” said Kalpit Jain, chief executive officer, Netcore Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Netcore Solutions is a marketing technology company, which enables its clients to communicate with their customers through messages and emails.

Its clients include private sector banks such as Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank, and public sector banks such as UCO Bank, Corporation Bank and SBI insurance.

“One of our client, a private bank, used to send around 100 million messages every month to its customers through our platform, before demonetisation. The figure reached around 180-200 million for November-December and around 130-140 million for January-February,” he added.

With the government’s move to demonetise Rs500 and Rs1,000 denomination notes since 8 November, there was high dependence on cashless transactions due to shortage of physical cash in the economy.

Banks usually send text messages (in case the customer has opted for SMS banking) and emails for each transaction made by the customer. The high number of transactional messages is directly proportional to the preference of the people to use digital modes especially debit or credit cards for making both small and big value payments.

Banks also took initiatives to educate customers about the benefits of digital banking and kept updating them about changes in withdrawal limits from time to time.

“The medium of the messages and mails sent out by us is English. Most of the private sector banks cater to the urban population who use English as means of communication but the public sector banks mainly has rural client base to whom these messages cannot be sent. So a difference in the way both these banks communicate with their customers is important to understand,” Jain said.

“Although the informative messages from banks have sharply reduced but transactional messages are still 25-35% higher than October,” he said.

According to a recent report by India Ratings and Research, a credit rating agency, consumers were quick in adopting the digital mode of payment post demonetisation and the share of cash transactions declined to about 20% from about 50-60% earlier. The agency also expects card transactions to rise to up to 90% of total sales by July for certain sectors of the economy.

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