SBI to open digital bank

The 208-year-old State Bank of India (SBI) is creating a digital bank within the institution in a bid to stay relevant to a generation that's grown on social networks and demands instant gratification. The new electronic banking outlets will be situated in malls and will open accounts, issue cards and sanction loans across the counter.
With a network of 13,000 branches, the country's largest bank has held on to market share as it continued to grow its network. But new private banks are gaining valuations disproportionate to their size as investors expect them to grow more efficiently than public sector banks. “To continue to remain the market leader we have to periodically reinvent ourselves. Banking today has to be sold, which is why we have decided to be in the malls,“ said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman, SBI.
She added that the bank had looked at successful models across the world, including a Portuguese bank and an Irish bank. SBI's digital banking initiative is an outcome of SBI's mandate to Accenture four months ago. The consultancy firm was roped in to create a sub-brand that would provide new-age consumers a completely different banking experience. The turnkey contract included everything from conception to design as well as staff training. The consultancy firm has roped in designers from UK to suggest the look for the branches as well as staff uniforms. The first lot comprising of seven pilot digital branches will be opened largely in high street malls in various cities on Tuesday . The banking stores are supported by self-service touch devices, which enable instant account opening with an instant debit card. Customers will have access to remote experts through high definition videos.
According to Mudeita Patrao, MD (financial services), Accenture, to deliver its mandate within 16 weeks, the firm brought in experts around the globe and at one point of time there were parallel teams across UK, France, US and multiple centers in India.

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