Obopay platform expands customer base at Union Bank of India

About the client 

Established on 11 November 1919, the Union Bank of India (UBI) is headquartered in the city of Bombay, now known as Mumbai. Union Bank plays a very proactive role in the economic growth of India. By extending credit to industries, exports, trading, agriculture, infrastructure and other- individual segments, the bank is instrumental in spurring economic growth in the country, while also generating earnings from a well-diversified portfolio of assets. It mobilizes resources in the domestic market through current, savings and term deposits and through refinance and borrowings from abroad. The bank has a large clientele base of over 49 million. As at end of March 2013, it had achieved total business level of INR 4.757tn.

The opportunity

The Indian market represented a market of 1.3bn people of which 45% were unbanked. However, of these 886m people were mobile subscribers. Sensing an opportunity, the Union Bank of India sought to expand its customer base by considering the offer of banking services to this segment of customers through mobile money services. However certain challenges in the implementation were foreseen. These were in the form of a demand for a service that could replace cash and offer convenient top up and bill pay conveniences for small and essential payments. The mobile solution also needed to support all phone types while strictly complying with Reserve Bank of India regulations. Moreover, it had to be capable of supporting agent distribution, and cash in/out services, to address the limited reach of the bank’s networks.

The deployment

UBI explored the market for possible alternatives before deciding on Obopay’s mobile money platform, based on its reputation as the earliest and most experienced player in the segment. This emerged as the correct decision. UBI was able to offer direct services not only through the mobile money services platform but also distribute it through its Nokia agent network and its existing partnership with two carrier agnostic retail banks.

The solution

The Obopay solution delivered on all counts. With its EasyPay features, end customers could easily conduct bill payment and top-up transactions while the EasySend function allowed EasyPay in combination with transfer and cash out transactions. A multi bank solution enhanced with an agent management platform, the Obopay solution also enabled interoperability with ATMs and the National Switch.

Union Bank of India discovered new markets after deployment of the Obopay platform. The solution enabled the acquisition of several smaller unacquired merchants. The bank expanded its reach through its now 200 000+ retailers who acted as agents. With options available for future growth through Obopay’s forward looking capabilities such as open loop payment addition and biometrics, UBI now counts itself one among the many satisfied Obopay customers.

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