Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated 75 digital banking units to the nation, taking forward a promise that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had made during the 2022-23 Union Budget. The project is in line with the Centre’s ambitious goal of financial inclusion.
In a virtual address which was attended by Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das, PM Modi said: “As our country witnesses the success of another digital milestone today, I congratulate the collective efforts of our countrymen. These Digital Banking Units will empower digital services and provide a robust digital banking infrastructure for the country.”
These banking units will improve banking and financial management, promote transparency and also promote financial inclusion, he said.
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The Prime Minister inaugurated two such units in Jammu and Kashmir Bank - one is the SSI branch at Lal Chowk in Srinagar and the other is the Channi Rama branch in Jammu.
FM Sitharaman in her Union budget speech for 2022-23 had said the government would set up 75 DBUs in 75 districts of the country to commemorate the 75 years of independence of our country.
Today, PM Modi said fintech will revolutionise financial inclusion in the country. He said that even the World Bank has lauded India’s efforts in ensuring social security through digitisation. “World Bank says that India has become a leader in ensuring social security through digitisation. Even the most successful people in the field of technology, the experts of the tech world are appreciating this system in India. They too are amazed by its success,” he said.
What are Digital Banking Units?
Digital Banking Units are specialised fixed point business units that will provide a variety of digital banking facilities to people such as opening a savings account, account balance check, printing passbook, funds transfer, fixed deposit investments, loan applications, application for credit or debit cards, and bill and tax payments, among others.
Eleven banks in the public sector, 12 in the private sector, and one Small Finance Bank are participating in the endeavour.
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Private sector lender ICICI Bank today announced the launch of four DBUs in Dehradun city of Uttarakhand, Karur in Tamil Nadu, Kohima in Nagaland, and Puducherry. Jana Small Finance Bank launched two DBUs in Bihar and Jharkhand. HDFC Bank launched its units in Haridwar, Chandigarh, Faridabad, and South 24 Parganas of West Bengal.
In a statement, ICICI bank stated that their DBUs will have two distinct areas: a Self-service Zone and a Digital Assistance Zone. The Self-service zone will house an ATM, a cash deposit machine (CDM), and a Multi-Functional Kiosk (MFK), which would offer services like printing passbooks, depositing cheques, and accessing internet banking.
There will be a Digi Branch Kiosk, which will offer all services available on mobile banking apps. This will also have a digital interactive screen where customers can interact with a chatbot in order to find product offers and mandatory notices. The self-service zone will be operational 24X7.
On the other hand, the Digital Assistance Zone will have branch officials to assist customers to undertake various financial and non-financial transactions such as the opening of savings accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits, recurring deposits, availing of home loans, auto loans, personal loan, applying for a credit card, and others. These services will be offered in a completely digital manner through a tablet device, using Aadhaar-based eKYC.
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HDFC bank’s DBU will have a self–service zone for customer transactions using interactive ATMs, cash deposit machines, interactive digital walls, net banking kiosks/video calls, and tab banking. Mostly in self-service mode, services will be available round-the-clock all year round. There will also be an assisted zone in a DBU manned by two bank staff.
Other services available at HDFC digital units are: Account Opening – Fixed Deposit & Recurring Deposit, Digital Kit for customers: Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, Debit Card, Credit card and mass transit system cards, Digital Kit for Merchants: UPI QR code, BHIM Aadhaar, PoS, MSME or schematic loans, End-to-end digital processing of such loans, starting from online application to disbursal, Identified Government sponsored schemes which are covered under the National Portal, Cash withdrawal and Cash Deposit through ATM and Cash Deposit Machines, Passbook printing / Statement generation, Issuance / processing of Cheque Book request, receipt and online processing of various standing instructions, Transfer of funds (NEFT/IMPS), Updation of KYC / other personal details, Atal Pension Yojana (APY), 15 Insurance onboarding for Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).
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