Branch banking reaches the local grocery store: SBI

Sep 2010
Gurgaon, India, September, 16 2010 - The largest lender of the country, State Bank of India has come up with a new plan to bring banking services to every doorstep.

The bank would be setting up banking kiosks at local grocery shops often called kirana stores. These kiosks would cater to all basic banking amenities like opening an account, deposit and withdrawal of cash, money transfer facilities along with a proper and valid receipt for all transactions.

The bank has started with opening the first 50 kiosks in Dharavi, Mumbai, the largest slum in the world. It would soon be opening 1000 more kiosks in the city and 870 more in the state of Maharashtra.

Delhi has also seen the opening of 30 such kiosks. Bihar and UP will see such kiosks by October this year, said sources.

Banking services through these kiosks will be offered in six languages to facilitate the customer.

Such kiosks would only require a photo ID proof and address proof of the customer who can then open a no frills account there where there is no requirement of minimum balance. A photo of the customer would be captured using a webcam and a biometric device would take his fingerprints.

"The know-your-customer verification process is diluted here; the regular KYC is so stringent that daily wage earners and migrants get excluded from banking facilities," said Pramod Saxena, managing director and chairman at Oxigen. Oxigen is aiding SBI in the process.

"Through the Dharavi microfinance branch we will be financing Rs50 crore by March 2011," said Riten Ghose, general manager, Mumbai at SBI.

"Other banks, private included have been approaching us. But at least for the next couple of months we do not want to sign on any other bank," said an Oxigen official.

Source : Rupee Times

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