Yes Bank bullish on smart cities, signs up 3 projects
Mid-sized private sector lender Yes Bank is looking at smart cities initiative as a lucrative business opportunity and has signed up three projects to offer payments-related solutions, a senior official said. “We have tied up with Udaipur, Nashik and Puducherry for introducing various solutions for the smart city initiative,” its digital banking head Ritesh Pai told PTI.He said this work will be both revenue accretive as well as help the bank forge newer client relationships, which can be leveraged for cross-sell. There is a revenue share arrangement in the contracts which it will be signing with the service providers, which helps the bank get some commission on usage, he explained.
Most of the solutions being worked out at present revolve around making payments for transport services, civic services and utilities, wherein the smart cities are trying to inculcate cashless payments. Pai called this work as baby steps, saying there is a lot which can be achieved once an entire city is connected and will evince more interests from banks in the future. At present, its larger rival ICICI Bank is the only other bank which had announced a project to work in Ahmedabad late last year. The city-headquartered bank has gone live with its offering in Udaipur earlier this week and plans to introduce services in Puducherry by end of April and Nashik a month later, Pai said.
In Udaipur, it will be rolling out a RuPay card for payment for government services and retail services in the city, he said. The larger idea is to get all the payments including commuting, grocery, shopping, entertainment, school and college fees, medicines, insurance, travel bookings, utility and bills into the mould, he said. In Nashik, efforts will be concentrated on government payments, while in Puducherry, the bank will be launching a prepaid card for tourists which can be used for payments for a slew of services, he said. Under the smart cities initiative, the Union government is targeting to turn nearly 100 urban centres ‘smart’ through internet and communications technology solutions, which will use tech like Internet of Things.