G B Bhuyan, General Manager – Financial Inclusion, Bank of Baroda, speaks to Arpit Gupta & Poulami Chakraborty of Elets News Network (ENN) on the numerous technological innovations proposed, planned and executed by the bank to help citizens earn and avail the financial services
Give an overall view of financial inclusion initiatives taken by the Bank of Baroda compared to other nationalised banks.
Bank of Baroda is one of the leading banks, which has about 48 lead districts and around 22,000 villages. We have appointed more than 8800 BCs, out of which 6100 in rural places and 2600 plus are in urban places. We ensure that first, all the access to the bank is through BCs. Secondly, we ensure BC and branch managers are interacting well. There are differences in every region, to combat those, we visit regional zones, and conduct meeting with officials on coordination between the BC and the manager to help build success for financial inclusion and mobilise more businesses. We have covered 60 regions where meetings are being conducted, comprising of the branch managers and BCs. We want to give a close coordination between groups, with sufficient earning for retaining BCs or team leader. In addition, we ensure that the customers are getting good services in remote areas. We ensure all products and services are available. We are going to introduce opening of new products like RD accounts, FDR accounts, mobile wallet, IMPS, instant money transfer, instant account opening, Aadhaar at BC point, and so on. We have already started the initiation by approval by our technological service provider, TCS, who is working on it for launching it and implementing it every month. This is required to help generation of income and to serve customers efficiently. Apart from that, there are some leisure activation like lead generation, loan lead generation, micro insurance, credit monitoring in small account, retail credit lead generation in housing and car loans, and many more. The BCs have been guided and told to conduct financial literacy programmes on a larger scale, so that customers know the benefits of the products and its availability. Under the Pradhan Mantri Jhan Dhan Yojana, about one crore and nine lakh accounts are mobilised and are going to be funded. We are trying insurance benefit to all our customers, so that they can avail the insurance and get at least one transaction in every 30 days, through the RuPay card. We intimate our BCs to make it compulsory as the scheme is very affordable.
|Bank of Baroda provides a facility, to receive payment online from any debit/credit card, called ‘Baroda e-Gateway’ (Internet Payment Gateway), which is a safe, secure and trusted payment solution for eCommerce/ online business. It is ideal for schools and colleges for fee collection, travel agents, merchants who wish to sell online products / services, associations to receive subscriptions from their members, government and semi- government offices, municipal corporations, electricity boards and other utility payment services companies to collect dues/payments from consumers etc|
|Bank of Baroda presents a new channel for accessing your bank account through mobile phone. ‘Baroda M-Connect’ is the anytime, anywhere banking facility. It is easy to use. Customers just need to register themselves, download and start using Baroda M-Connect application. It is encrypted and a secure way of transacting with bank. Also, it is compatible with every mobile platform. It offers services i.e. mobile recharge, balance enquiry, mini statements and fund transfers within bank – Mobile to Mobile and Mobile to Account and other bank – NEFT and IMPS (Instant Transfer).|
Do you see banking sector as growing in the digital space, and what technological innovations are you taking to implement such schemes?
Digital India is the call of our Prime Minister. There are some 900 million mobile users, who have access to mobile technology and mobile banking on their fingertips. Citizens can now do transactions at home with just their mobile; they will no longer need to wait in long queues. A mobile wallet is such concept. We promote digital mobile banking, along with funding zero balance accounts, mobile seeding is equally important. Such seeding should be implemented thoroughly as mobile banking is the future.
What are the future plans of Bank of Baroda?
We have started giving benefits of mobile banking, and we are going to have our own platform for mobile banking apart from IMPS. Within a year, we are ensuring to launch numerous mobile banking solutions.
To strengthen the BC network, we have appointed some corporate BCs who will work within the framework of modern technology. We have also initiated training programmes for them, in order to empower them. This is the beginning to financial inclusion. To make a rapid progress in this sector we have planned to have our own in-house certificate examination by all regions, in which the BCs will appear the exams, which will certify that they are working well to make a more efficient financial system.