PM Modi Launched Jana Small Finance Bank’s First Digital Banking Units in Bihta, Bihar and Bero, Jharkhand
uring the inauguration of seventy five selected branches, the PM Modi virtually interacted with the staff and other stakeholder.
The Honourable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the Jana Small Finance Bank’s first digital banking unit in the districts of Bihta in Bihar and Bero in Jharkhand. Jana SFB is the only small finance bank selected for the launch of DBUs in India.
This launch was a part of the Central government’s announcement to launch 75 digital banking units (DBUs) to strengthen the digital economy, as the nation celebrated its 75th year of independence this year, and the districts were allotted to selected banks. During the inauguration of seventy five selected branches, the PM virtually interacted with the staff and other stakeholders.
Other than Bihta and Bero, Jana Small Finance Bank has also set up one more digital banking unit in Motipur (District Muzaffarpur, Bihar). These DBUs are opened to ensure the digital awareness, acceptance, and adoption of customers, thereby achieving the government’s Financial Inclusion strategy via self-help, the dissemination of digital skills, community connectivity, and financial advisory initiatives.
The Bihta DBU branch deserves special recognition because it is the only one of its kind to be exclusively staffed by women, who will help customers learn how to use digital products and services. The Bihta DBU and Bero DBU was virtually inaugurated by the Prime Minister, where he interacted with the branch members, in the presence of Mr. Ajay Kanwal, MD and CEO of Jana Small Finance Bank. Honourable Minister of state for Home Affairs Shri Nityanand Rai, Member of Parliament Mr. Ram Kripal Yadav and Mr. Ranjit Kumar (SHO-Bihta) were the other dignitaries present at the event of DBU launch in Bihta, Bihar. Minister of state for Education Smt. Annapurna Devi, Member of Parliament Mr. Sudarshan Bhagat and Mr Manish Kumar Gupta (SHO-Bero) were the other dignitaries present at the event of DBU launch in Bero, Jharkhand.
The concept of digital-only banks was unveiled by Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in the Financial Budget 2022. DBUs are aimed at improving the ease of doing business. They also enhance customer experience by enabling them to have a touch and feel of doing transactions digitally. Apart from the Digital services available, Jana SFB also provides Aadhaar services (Aadhaar creation and updation) to its customers.
Ajay Kanwal, MD and CEO, Jana Small Finance Bank, said, “Jana Small Finance Bank serves financial inclusion with a strong digital backbone and execution -98% Bank transactions are already done through digital modes. We are honoured with our DBUs launch by the Honourable Prime Minister. We will continue to innovate with new products and services which meet the needs of the underserved.”
These branches are equipped with the ‘DigiGen’ digital banking platform, kiosks, cash recycler machines, etc. The model of the digital banking unit is new and evolving. Basis the experience in these three DBUs, Jana Bank will also expand its services to more towns across India. With the launch of these three DBUs, Jana Bank will have a presence of 48 branches including 19 in Bihar and Jharkhand and 723 nationally with 267 (~37%) in unbanked rural branches.
ICICI Bank Launched Four Digital Banking Units
ICICI Bank announced the launch of four Digital Banking Units (DBUs) to offer banking services to its customers digitally. The launch is part of the government’s plan to set up 75 DBUs in as many districts to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence. Shri Narendra Modi, Honourable Prime Minister of India inaugurated the 75 DBUs virtually today in the presence of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honourable Finance Minister and Shri Shaktikanta Das, RBI Governor. ICICI Bank has set up the DBUs at Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Karur in Tamil Nadu, Kohima in Nagaland and Puducherry.
A DBU comprises two distinct areas– a Self-service Zone and a Digital Assistance Zone. The Self-service Zone houses an ATM, a Cash Deposit Machine (CDM) and a Multi-Functional Kiosk (MFK) that offers a number of services including printing of passbook, depositing cheque and accessing internet banking. Further, it has a Digi Branch Kiosk that offers all services available on iMobile Pay, the Bank’s mobile banking app. The Zone also provides a digital interactive screen where customers can interact with a chatbot in order to find product offers and mandatory notices. The Self-service Zone is operational 24×7.
At the Digital Assistance Zone, branch officials assist customers to undertake various financial and non-financial transactions. These include opening of saving account, current account, fixed deposit and recurring deposit; availing of home loan, auto loan, personal loan and applying for credit card. These services are offered in a completely digital manner through a tablet device, using Aadhaar based eKYC. In addition, branch officials will help customers download and start using the mobile banking app as well as internet banking. The Digital Assistance Zone remains open from 9:30 am to 3.00 pm on Monday to Friday as well as, on the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month.
Speaking on the new initiative, Mr. Rakesh Jha, Executive Director (Designate), ICICI Bank said, “We are delighted to be part of the initiative of setting up DBUs across the nation, under the aegis of RBI. They operate like digital branches where customers can undertake banking transactions digitally, at a time of their convenience. They can also seek guidance from experts on banking services at these units.
In the last few years, we have seen that the customer’s behaviour at branches has evolved. Customers are now more keen to seek advice and guidance at branches for complex transactions, loans and investments while they prefer doing simple transactions on their own through digital channels like internet and mobile banking. We have designed the DBUs to meet these evolving requirements of our customers.”
In addition to offering banking services, the DBUs will conduct Digital Literacy Programmes regularly to spread awareness around safe banking, digital banking and cyber security.