Housing finance major HDFC Ltd on Sunday said it has localised its website in six Indian languages, in addition to English, to help homebuyers get home loan related information more effectively.
The website content is now also available in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, even as English continues to be a widely used language on digital platforms in India, HDFC said.
HDFC Ltd is the only corporate in the financial sector to offer content on its website in six Indian languages, it added.
The growing use of internet and smartphones and rising base of regional language users, particularly in smaller towns, has made it important to focus on building digital properties and content where relevant information is available in local language as well, it said.
Speaking on this initiative, HDFC Ltd Managing Director Renu Sud Karnad said, “We are happy to share that we are among the few brands in the BFSI space to implement the ‘language localisation technology’.
“This is in line with Government’s Digital India initiative to let customers access the digital content in the language they are comfortable with. HDFC’s website in regional languages will help us tremendously to reach deeper across India to the untapped audience,” she said.
HDFC was awarded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the best performing primary lending institution in the EWS (economically weaker section) and LIG (low income group) and second best in the MIG (middle income group) category in June 2018.
Besides, in March 2019, HDFC was awarded as the ‘Best Private Sector Financial Institution’ for PMAY-CLSS at PMAY Empowering India Awards 2019.
Karnad said the new language localisation initiative will further facilitate HDFC to promote the government’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) to the EWS and LIG customers, particularly in the tier-II, tier-III cities and smaller towns with a vast non-English speaking segment.
“While we are live with our website in six regional languages, we also intend to incorporate many more languages going forward to cater to as many regional users as possible, since consumers prefer to consume content in their preferred language,” she added.
HDFC as of May 2019 has disbursed subsidy of over Rs 2,345 crore to over 1.1 lakh first-time homebuyers under PMAY-Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), becoming the first housing finance player to achieve this feat.
Also, during the quarter ended June 30, 2019, 35 per cent of home loans approved in volume terms and 17 per cent in value terms have been to customers from EWS and LIG categories.
HDFC, on an average, has been approving about 8,700 loans on a monthly basis to the EWS and LIG segment, with monthly average approvals at Rs 1,415 crore.
As per a Nasscom and KPMG report, currently there are approximately 52.1 crore Hindi language speakers and 50 crore other Indian language speakers in India. In contrast, English language speakers stand at just 12.5 crore.
Further, internet adoption rate of Indian language users is higher than English speaker users. Indian language internet user base is set to see a healthy growth, registering a CAGR of 18 per cent to reach 53.6 crore by 2021.
This growth is likely to be faster compared to English internet user base, which is growing at 3 per cent to 19.9 crore.
Indian language internet users are expected to account for nearly three-fourths of India’s internet user base by 2021.
It has been observed that there is a high preference for regional languages over English content among Indians as 70 per cent literacy rate in India is for non-English languages.
Rapid adoption of mobile internet, affordable data plans and growing digital connectivity have improved internet subscribers base in India. This trend has opened up multiple avenues to improve consumer touch points, mainly offering services in regional languages.
HDFC Ltd is India’s leading mortgage lender and a well-established financial conglomerate, with a network of 557 offices across the country. HDFC Ltd also has offices in London, Dubai and Singapore and service associates in Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia — Al Khobar, Jeddah and Riyadh, to assist non-resident Indians and PIOs.