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Banks: Attracting NRIs with new products & partnerships

Thomas Joseph K, Exec VP & Chief Business Officer at South Indian Bank, and Maneesh Ajmani, Head – Preferred Banking, NRI, Investment Services & Bancassurance at RBL Bank, share interesting updates about NRI customer engagement:

South Indian Bank has nearly half-a-million customers with a proportionate number of accounts. It has 932 branches, 1154 ATMs and 121 CDMs/CRMs across India. RBL Bank currently services more than 12.91 million customers through a network of 517 branches, 1166 business correspondent branches (of which 298 are banking outlets) and 414 ATMs. It has a substantial presence in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra and is also growing in Mumbai, Gujarat and Delhi.

Thomas Joseph updates: “At South Indian Bank, NRIs comprise 7% of our total customer base. Traditionally we have always grown substantially in Kerala; however with a focused approach are growing in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The bank is also giving special focus on strong NRI potential areas like Goa and Pondicherry.”

At RBL Bank, NRIs constitutes 5% of overall base for the customer base. The top 3 markets having NR customers are Mumbai, Punjab and Kerala. Maneesh Ajmani, updates: “We have been observing growth of NRI customers in these geographies. With covid reducing over past year, we have also seen lot of NRIs coming to India to meet their family.”

Products, Remittance, Deposit

South Indian Bank has recently launched 2 flexible saving products for NRI customers, giving them flexibility to either maintain minimum balance in SA or funds in FD. It has been on the journey of simplifying banking needs and providing best in class CX. The roll out of ‘SIB Seafarer’ for mariners and ‘SIB Pulse’ for healthcare professionals are just the instances for the same.

With SIB Seafarer, NRI customers have the flexibility to maintain a minimum balance of `10,000 in linked accounts. NRI customers can experience best in class digital banking through Mirror+ and SiBerNet. Special rates are applicable for inward remittances.

With SIB Pulse, NRI customers have the flexibility to maintain a minimum balance of Rs10,000 in linked accounts. They can have term deposit above Rs2 lakh or RD with minimum monthly instalment above Rs20,000. South Indian Bank also offers home loans, personal loans and vehicle loans to NRI customers.

Priority banking, UPI payment and airport lounge access with international debit card is available to customer segments.

Thomas reveals: “Our inward remittances growth is 14% in value and 44% increase in volume. Our bank’s overall NRI deposits has crossed Rs280 billion in 2022-23 despite of increase in number of returning NRIs and shrinking market.”

RBL Bank too has witnessed a significant jump in inward remittance over the past 12 months. Maneesh dwells: “This is largely for placement of monies in deposits owing to increase in interest rate from July’22 and USD-INR conversion.”

Wealth, MF, Investment

South Indian Bank has come up with bouquet of wealth and mutual fund products. It offers PIS with trading partners Geojit and Motilal Oswal Financial Services. Thomas reveals: “We are exploring a third tie-up with Doha Brokerage & Financial Services (DBFS). We also have insurance partners Kotak Mahindra, HDFC Life, SBI Life, Star Health, Manipal Signa and Niva Bupa Insurance to offer both life insurance and health insurance to our NRI customers. We have recorded overall 24% growth in NRI demat accounts.”

RBL Bank has undertaken targeted communication to specific markets entailing various investment opportunities and educating clients on the high savings and deposit interest rates offered by the bank. Maneesh elaborates: “We have seen a steady increase in client onboarding for mutual funds investment. Popular funds in each category subscribed by NR customers are in large, mid cap and flexi funds. Saving, investment and annuity plans are the most opted insurance plans by NR customers. NR continues to be a key focus area for the bank with many Indians remitting money back to India for family and investment purposes.”

Mobile Banking Platform

Digital enablers offering superior customer experience though RBL Bank’s internet banking as well as mobile banking platforms allow customers to access banking services from anywhere. Maneesh informs: “We have a fully functional mobile banking platform for NR customers offering 360-degree overview of customer’s relationship with the bank and seamless online banking experience.”

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