Digital banking offers more convenience to consumers, which has become even more obvious due to the COVID-19 crisis. The shift towards all-digital financial services could be permanent, according to the State Bank of India (SBI) Chief.
SBI, which is one of India’s largest lenders, is now redesigning and also renaming all its branches as “Yono” branches or virtual branches.
Rajnish Kumar, the chairman at SBI, noted earlier this week that significantly more customers are now conducting transactions online. Like many other financial industry professionals, he believes this could be a permanent change in consumer behavior.
As reported by local outlet The Statesman, an average of only 7 out of 100 financial transactions are now being completed in-person or at physical SBI branches. Around 20 transactions out of 100 or 20% were taking place at the bank’s physical locations before the pandemic began, Kumar revealed.
He added (during the Global Business Summit):
“Progressively, we are seeing that there has been a shift away from branches and even from ATMs. The number of transactions [via] ATMs have come down from 55 to 29 per 100. On the other hand, the digital transactions, which are [performed via] mobile and internet banking [portals], have gone to 55 out of 100 transactions.
He also mentioned:
“This shift is permanent and is going to remain. People are experiencing the convenience of digital and mobile banking. The necessity for physical will remain. The size and the shape of the branches will change. And now, any new branch we are opening, it is branded as a digital branch.”
Kumar confirmed that SBI has the technology to provide many pre-approved loans by leveraging advanced data analytics.
He claims that SBI’s digital lending book continues to grow. He also mentioned that the institution’s operations have been “unaffected” (in a negative way) by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kumar further noted that the bank is increasingly using data analytics and other Big Data software tools to enhance its line of financial products.