In a decision that is hoped will rev up auto sales in India after a lull due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the country's major private sector lender HDFC Bank on Thursday announced its plans to offer ZipDrive instant auto loans to customers across 1,000 cities.
“ZipDrive is arguably India’s fastest online auto loan offering. With this state-of-the-art technology-enabled solution, from the market leader in the auto loans business, auto loans can be availed as fast as within 10 seconds", Arvind Kapil, Country Head-Retail Lending, HDFC Bank claimed.
The bank, with a customer base of around 50 million, has made it clear that this instant loan will only be available to bank customers with a pre-approved offer. As 90 percent of the institution's customers use internet banking, the bank believes that extending the instant loan to 1,000 smaller cities like Bhimavaram, Hardoi, Thalassery, and Balasore will help automakers, who reported a near 50% year-on-year decline in wholesale volumes for June.
“With ZipDrive, bank customers need not visit a branch or any other physical touch points", Kapil stated at a time when people have confined themselves in their homes due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
The boost to the automotive sector, which contributes 6.5% to India’s gross domestic product, will have a positive impact on industries such as steel, plastic, and rubber. The Indian economy witnessed decade-low growth of 3.1 percent in first quarter of this year, while massive contractions are predicted by economists for the 2021 fiscal year.
Earlier, the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank, had cut interest rates for commercial banks by 40 basis points (bps) to 4 percent to boost demand in the economy.
The country is in the second phase of unlocking after a national lockdown was announced on 24 March by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a measure to stop the spread of the contagious coronavirus, which crossed the 600,000-mark on Thursday.