Singapore’s DBS banking group, which recently soft launched its online and mobile banking in India, now plans to develop digital space in the country and is already in talks with some of the companies on this ambitious project. It has also applied for setting up a wholly-owned subidiary in India, under which branches will be set up across the country.
The Asian banking giant will expand its digital footprint in India in phases to its offices in 12 cities. Even as DBS expands its digital and mobile banking network in India, it is also working feverishly to accelerate its banking operations with 60-70 branches in the coming months.
The nature of banking in India is undergoing a sea change, e-commerce is exploding, Aadhar and e-payment banking is gathering momentum, DBS Group Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta said. “For the next two years, we really want to put our energy behind the digital space,” Gupta said.
It is with this backdrop that DBS selected India to expand mobile banking and capitalize on its enabling financial architecture, Gupta added. DBS chose India after evaluating it along with China and Indonesia because it wanted to launch mobile banking in one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies.
“We finally chose India, and the reason we did so is that the enabling eco-system for electronics payments and the Aadhar universal unique identity card network is best developed and better than not only China and Indonesia but also Singapore,” he said.
“In the last couple of years, India’s enabling financial architecture has become so friendly that it is the easiest place for a bank to go and launch online and mobile banking,” he said.
In April, the Singapore-based banking giant applied to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries to expand its current operations in 12 metropolitan cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune.
The expansion will commence once the Reserve Bank of India approves DBS’ proposal to increase operations in the country’s capital market through a wholly-owned subsidiary network. DBS, which is expecting the RBI approval in the coming months, is ranked fourth largest foreign bank in India after Standard Chartered, HSBC and Citibank.
Elaborating on the plan, Gupta said “we don’t have a specific target but India will be a much bigger contributor soon in our scheme of things than it is at present.”  Currently, India accounts for less than five per cent of the DBS group’s total global banking business.
DBS is in India for the long-term, stresses Gupta, adding, “our objective is that India should be a bigger part of our business.”


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