and HDFC Bank create India’s 1st AI success story: A case study

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About HDFC:

The Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) was amongst the first to receive an ‘in principle’ approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a bank in the private sector, as part of RBI’s liberalisation of the Indian Banking Industry in 1994. The bank was incorporated in August 1994 in the name of ‘HDFC Bank Limited’, with its registered office in Mumbai, India. HDFC Bank commenced operations as a Scheduled Commercial Bank in January 1995.

The need to shake hands with the AI bot:

HDFC bank had sensed the need to explore other platforms as banking channels. Integrating with, HDFC Bank OnChat was launched on Facebook Messenger.

Mobile and internet users in India are projected to grow to 450 Million by 2020. Surveys show that over a billion people use messaging apps, spending a considerable amount of time on these apps daily. HDFC bank offered digital mediums such as Net banking and Mobile banking as options to its customers. Through OnChat, the bank wanted to open yet another channel for its existing customers as well as new prospects.

With over 71% of our transaction taking place on digital platforms, we no longer call this as an alternate banking channel. Internet and mobile are now our core channels,“ – Nitin Chugh

Moreover, the organisation wanted to leverage the power of technology (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) to acquire new users, monetise its existing customer base, increase engagement and provide a unique value add to the users.

Integration with Niki:

Niki’s SDK is available across all major platforms — Android, Messenger iOS as well as web. The SDK is mere 1MB in size and can be integrated within less than half an hour of development time. With the simple integration, a brand can offer 20+ services provided by 40+ merchants on board, to its customers.

HDFC Bank OnChat

HDFC Bank OnChat is powered by Niki. One has to simply search for @hdfcbankonchat on Messenger and start chatting to avail a number of services. Cab booking, mobile recharge, postpaid bill payment, utility bill payments and more can be taken care of right from the Messenger chat window by sending texts and interacting with the bot. This enables the users to quickly avail a service without having to exit the app they’re already using.

Since the chat interface provides a natural way of communication to get things done, it is way easier to learn and use even for the not-so-tech-savvy generation. Apart from making the experience better for millennials, OnChat gives the customers older in age the ability to get things done easily without any tech-help.

Not only HDFC Bank’s customers, but anyone using Messenger can avail HDFC Bank OnChat’s services. The current percentage of non-HDFC bank customers using the bot stands at around 25%.

Success metrics / impact:

(Jan’2017— Jun’2017)

HDFC bank being present on yet another platform and offering services even to those who were not already its customers, the bank could acquire users and monetise. The current percentage of non-HDFC bank customers using the bot stands at around 25%.

More services were introduced — more offerings, more transactions

HDFC bank has been pretty active in promoting OnChat through different channels

Leading to a 400% increase in average order amount

Contributing to a non-linear growth in GMV

Not only did the brand acquire new customers, but also retained them

Customer testimonials:

Now what’s better than customer-love? HDFC Bank OnChat has been lucky to get some over the few months it has been in existence:


Apart from a positive traction on customer front, the chatbot has also been recognised by notables in the industry. It was awarded as “Social Media Initiative of the year” in Asian Banking and Finance Retail Banking Awards, and is also a finalist in “Channel Innovation” category during BAI Global Innovation Awards – Chicago.

Wish to integrate Niki’s SDK in your app / web? Visit: Niki’s partner webpage.