State Bank of India (SBI), on October 4, 2023, launched a ‘mobile handheld device’ to provide better accessibility to its financial inclusive (FI) customers and to enhance their convenience and inclusion.
With a focus on improved financial inclusion, this mobile device is aimed to cater to the needs of senior citizens, people suffering from health issues, and differently-abled persons. The availability of this handheld device at the doorstep means bringing basic banking facilities to the customers’ homes.
It will also enhance the bank’s reach to the customer and offer flexibility to the customer service point (CSP) agents, who provide basic banking facilities in the smaller unbanked areas. The idea is to bring more people under banking, such as in the villages and rural areas, where CSPs use mobile handheld devices to facilitate banking transactions.
Dinesh Khara, chairman, SBI, said: “Our goal is to make banking facilities accessible to all sections of society, particularly the unbanked, to fulfil the aspirations of financial inclusion. With the introduction of the mobile handheld device, customers will have a seamless and vivid experience conducting transactions at their location. This technology-driven initiative underscores SBI’s commitment to deepening financial inclusion and social welfare through digitisation by providing convenient and doorstep banking to our customers.”
The mobile device will offer five core banking services as of now.
1] Cash withdrawal
2] Cash deposit
3] Fund transfer
4] Balance inquiry and
5] Mini statement
These five facilities account for approximately 75 per cent of the total transactions that SBI’s CSPs conduct. Later, the bank plans to include more services in its offerings on the device, such as account opening, card-based banking services, remittances, and enrolment under social security schemes.
Benefit To Senior Citizens
Senior citizens who are not comfortable with using tech-led banking, such as Netbanking or mobile banking will find it easier to avail of the services without having to go through the hassles of doing transactions online or doubting whether they are doing it correctly.
As seniors prefer physical banking which involves interaction with human bankers instead of virtual interaction over the phone or Internet, the doorstep reach would help them undertake banking transactions comfortably from the comfort of their homes, thereby building trust.
Incidentally, SBI is already providing services specifically for senior citizens at the bank branches, but now this has been extended to the FI customers, as well, such as senior citizens aged 70 years and above or those who are differently-abled or infirm.
Khara added: “This innovative initiative aims to empower financial inclusion and extend essential banking services to the masses.”