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regular-article-logo Monday, 17 June 2024

RBI bars Bank of Baroda from onboarding new customers on its mobile app 'bob World’

BoB said the RBI’s curbs will not impact any of its other digital banking channels such as net banking, WhatsApp banking, debit cards and ATMs for servicing its existing customers as well as for the onboarding of new customers

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 11.10.23, 10:02 AM
Courting trouble

Courting trouble File image

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday barred the Bank of Baroda (BoB) from onboarding customers into its mobile application “bob World’’ with immediate effect.

The banking regulator said it observed certain ‘material supervisory concerns’ on how the bank onboarded customers on the mobile platform.

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“The Reserve Bank of India has, in exercise of its power, under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, directed Bank of Baroda to suspend, with immediate effect, any further onboarding of their customers onto the ‘bob World’ mobile application,” it said in a statement.

The RBI added that any further onboarding will be subject to the rectification of the deficiencies observed and the strengthening of the related processes by the bank.

The bank has been directed to ensure that existing
‘bob World’ customers do not face any disruption on account of this suspension.

While the RBI did not disclose the reasons behind its curbs, a news channel had earlier cited a whistleblower to report that certain employees allegedly tampered with the bank accounts of some of its customers to sign up for the app.

The report had alleged that these employees drew a list of bank accounts that were not linked to a mobile number.
The accounts were registered with the app using the mobile numbers of bank staffers or other workers.

BoB had then denied the allegations claiming it has been following a fully system-authenticated and customer consent-based process to register for the app.

“While the bank has
already carried out corrective measures to address the
concerns of the RBI, we have initiated further steps to plug any remaining gaps identified and we will work closely with the RBI to address their concerns at the earliest to their satisfaction,” BoB said in a statement after the RBI’s order.

“We would also like to assure all our existing customers that they will not face any disruption whatsoever and will continue to enjoy uninterrupted services on the bank’s bob World mobile app.”

BoB said the RBI’s curbs will not impact any of its other digital banking channels
such as net banking, WhatsApp banking, debit cards and ATMs for servicing its existing customers as well as for the onboarding of new customers.

In 2020, the RBI told HDFC Bank to stop the sourcing of new credit card customers.

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