CHENNAI: Taking a leaf out of home finance companies, banks are now wooing women with attractive auto loan offers. India's first women's bank, Bharatiya Mahila Bank is in talks with Tata Motors to offer its customers cheaper auto loans across the latter's entire car range. "We are looking at offering reduced margin for women customers," Usha Ananthasubramanian, CMD, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, said.
Similarly, Axis Bank ran an auto loan campaign for women that included waiver of processing charges during the International Women's Day weekend. "There is some credit improvement risk when women borrowers come on board. Also, a lot of women are getting more influential when it comes to decision making like car buying, with many doing extensive online research on various models," Jairam Sridharan, head, consumer lending and payments, Axis Bank, said. Nearly one-fifth of the bank's auto loan borrower base comprises women (who have either taken the loan jointly or alone). Moving forward, the bank will extend special offers to women during major festivals.
Such consumer segmentation also comes against the backdrop of more women taking to the wheel. With auto companies adding features like parking sensors, rear park assist and complimentary emergency assistance services for new car owners, it's the driver's seat for women. "Such features score high with female car-buyers. Moreover, lot of women consumers are now showing increasing interest in luxury cars," Vinay Sanghi, CEO and founder, Cartrade.com said.
With auto financiers targeting more customer niches, the search for women borrowers and special schemes is beginning to pick up speed. A Mumbai-based auto financier, for instance, is "seriously considering something specific for this customer segment like the geography-specific schemes we run particularly in Tier 2 and 3 cities," said its head of auto loans.