India’s largest private sector bank, HDFC Bank, on February 6 launched four new small and medium enterprises (SME)-focused credit cards to cater to the specific needs of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and professionals.
The biggest USP of the cards is that they will provide 55 days of interest-free credit, the highest number of days offered by any bank. In addition, they also provide savings on core business spends like utility bills, GST, income tax, vendor payments, business travel, and business productivity tools.
“The new cards will make up a part of the strong suite of SME payments solutions that the bank offers — BizFirst, BizGrow, BizPower, and BizBlack,” the bank said in a press release. It added that the SME Payment Solution is designed to meet the diverse payment needs of self-employed individuals, SMEs and MSMEs.
Tailored to address both the payable and receivable needs of businesses, HDFC Bank has introduced a unified digital platform which consolidates all payables such as vendor payments, utility bills, and statutory payments etc. On the receivable side of payments, the platform is designed to manage and optimize end-to-end supply-chain arrangements and reconciliation. The platform provides a detailed dashboard with one view of payments made and accepted, for better cash-flow management.
Key features of the business credit cards:
- Up to 55 days free credit period (industry best)
- Up to 10X* Reward Points on Business Spends
- Bill Payments | Tax Payments | Vendor Payments | Business Travel | Business Productivity Tools
- Specially Curated Business Insurance Package
- Fire & Burglary | Cash in Safe & Transit | Electronic Equipment
- Exclusive Business focussed Redemption Catalogue
- Travel & Hotels | Microsoft Office 365 | Clear Tax | Amazon for Business | Google Ads
- EMI and Loan on card facility
Freelancers/GIG workers is a new emerging segment in self-employed category and HDFC Bank will be launching GIGA Business Credit Card shortly, catering to the specific needs of this segment.
“At HDFC Bank, we are committed to addressing the diverse payment needs of the self-employed as well as the business sector, ranging from MSMEs to large corporates. Understanding the specific requirements of the self-employed community, our business range of credit cards, is designed to be a practical game-changer in supporting their everyday business needs,” said Parag Rao, Country Head – Payments, Liabilities Products, Consumer Finance & Marketing HDFC Bank.
HDFC Bank has the largest market share by spends in the credit card business of 27.1 per cent as of December 2023. The bank started its credit card business in 2001. It launched its first credit card and reached the milestone of 1 crore cards in-force in 2017. Since, ,then it has doubled this number to 2 crore cards. The milestone was achieved on 16 January, the company said in a release.
“We have become the first and the only lender in the country to achieve this feat,” the company release said.
HDFC Bank’s monthly card spending range between Rs 35,000-45,000 crore. As of December 2023, the bank’s payments business, which includes consumer durable loans and credit cards, accounted for 8 per cent of retail assets.
According to the Reserve Bank of India data for November 2023, HDFC Bank’s cards in circulation stood at nearly 19.51 million as compared to 19.18 million cards in October 2023. HDFC Bank is followed by SBI Card, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, in terms of the number of credit cards issued.