HDFC Bank backs Chillr app for small bill payments

HDFC Bank backs Chillr app for small bill payments
The bank has set itself a target of one lakh merchants accepting payments through this route in a couple of months.
MUMBAI: With mobile-based payment app Chillr recording over Rs 9 crore worth retail transactions, HDFC Bank is now enrolling shopkeepers to accept account-to-account payments using this app. While many shopkeepers already accept card payments, HDFC Bank is talking to categories like neighbourhood dhobis and autorickshaw drivers.

The bank has set itself a target of one lakh merchants accepting payments through this route in a couple of months. In March this year, HDFC Bank tied up with Kochi-based firm MobME — a third-party developer — to offer Chillr app to its customers. Since then, the app has seen over one lakh downloads. The Chillr for business app allows the merchant to generate a bill on his app and ‘push’ it to the customer either directly over the air or by getting the customer to scan a QR code on the merchant’s app. The customer then merely enters the m-PIN to make the payment.

Although the application has been launched as peer-to-peer payment service, the simplicity and instant transfer has enabled its use in commercial transactions as well. “We are already using the app for payments in the office cafeteria,” said Nitin Chugh, head of digital banking at HDFC Bank. “We have seen doctors to dhobis accepting payments on this app. Now we are reasonably sure that there is a lot of interest in this category and the only thing you require is high degree of convenience.”

Although the app is being aggressively pushed by HDFC Bank, it is not proprietary and customers of even those banks which have not joined the Chillr network can receive payments in their accounts using the app. “Since the platform we use is the IMPS network, it can be received by any of the banks,” said Sony Joy, founder and CEO, Chillr. He added that three more banks will launch Chillr within a month and 15 more will join by the end of the year.

According to Joy, besides getting new business, the advantage for the bank is that it will get more information on customer behaviour and help come up with services. “Today, if a customer withdraws cash and uses it in a store, the bank has no idea of the customer’s spending behaviour. With even small amounts being payable through the app, banks can look at spending patterns and come out with products.”