SBI works on plan to turn into fully digital bank

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SBI Intouch Outlet
An SBI Intouch outlet

In keeping with the changing times and to beat the competition from the private sector banks, the largest public sector lender, State Bank of India, has started working on a plan to bring its nearly 45 crore customers on mobile banking and digital wallet platforms as part of its digital transformation strategy.

The strategy involves digitising all processes, implementing green banking and upgrading the legacy network to offer speedy services to its customers.

Informing the media about the plan, Bank’s Chief Technology Officer Shiv Bhasin said that digitisation will help customers carry out banking using self-service available on omnichannels at any time of their busy day.

SBI plans to reorganise its 16,415-strong branch network and enhance financial inclusion in an effective manner via its digitisation plan. The Bank is also working towards simplifying financial narrative, overhauling existing network and provide banking via omnichannels and devices, he said.

SBI, which launched mobile wallet application SBI Buddy in August, will soon become the first bank in the country to launch a mobile wallet for feature phone users. It is also planning to provide digital green debit card personal identification number or PIN to customers over SBI Quick app, unlike the current practice of sending PIN to customers via courier or post.

The bank projects significant growth in its revenues and loan book once all these digital processes are operationalised, as it will drastically cut the turnaround time for various services.

The largest lender plans to spend over Rs 200 crore to upgrade its network to improve its customer service. It will also tie up with Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Docomo and Sify to provide alternate connectivity, apart from the primary network service provider BSNL.

Besides, the bank also plans to open around 250 SBI Intouch branches, which offer instant savings bank account opening and personalised debit card service in 12-15 minutes. As of now, it has seven Intouch outlets.