60,000 new customers now transact at ICICI Bank's electronic branches every month
Now, you could visit a bank branch in the middle of the night to deposit money and get the funds credited to your account instantly. Banks have started opening unmanned electronic branches offering most of the banking services, beyond regular banking hours.
ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender, has already set up 61 such branches across 33 cities. Due to its popularity, the bank plans to increase its electronic branch count to 100 by the end of March 2014.
Around 60,000 new customers transact at the bank’s existing electronic branches every month and about a fifth of them use the services after regular banking hours and on Sundays and public holidays. In September, around 1.08 million transactions were carried out at ICICI Bank’s electronic branches.
Customers can do real-time cash deposits, withdraw money, deposit cheques and get instant receipts, transfer funds, open fixed deposits and generate bank statements at these branches. These also offer account-related information through internet banking and video conference.
“On an average, an individual spends about nine to 10 hours a day at work. This leaves him with limited time to attend to his routine needs, which includes day-to-day banking. We felt that there was a need to offer an opportunity to our customers to transact at their convenience. The concept of electronic branches was based on the feedback we received from our customers,” Rajiv Sabharwal, executive director of ICICI Bank, told Business Standard.
Besides metro centres, ICICI Bank has also opened these branches in cities such as Rajkot, Baroda, Vizag, Lucknow, Raipur and Guwahati. The cost of operation of unmanned electronic branches is relatively less than that of a regular branch.
Most of the electronic branches are currently co-located with regular branches of ICICI Bank. “Initially, we need to explain the services to our customers. Hence, we decided to co-locate electronic branches with regular branches in most places. The expansion, both in terms of services and geographical presence, will be based on feedback from the customers. Typically, these are more popular among young professionals and salaried individuals. These customers prefer self-service banking and electronic branches suit them,” Sabharwal said.
State Bank of India has opened electronic branches, offering round-the-clock banking services to its customers. Its electronic branches, which are referred to as ‘e-corners’, house ATMs, cash-deposit machines, self-service kiosks and even coin-vending machines. Customers can pay bills, reprint passbooks, transfer funds and conduct other banking transactions at these facilities.
* Electronic branches offer facilities to deposit cash, withdraw money, deposit cheques and get instant receipts, transfer funds, open fixed deposits and generate bank statements
* In September, around 1.08 million transactions were carried out at ICICI Bank’s electronic branches
* SBI's electronic branches referred to as ‘e-corners’ also house ATMs, cash-deposit machines, self-service kiosks and coin-vending machines