Going Digital: ICICI Bank Launches Four Digital Banking Units

ICICI Bank says it has launched four digital banking units, or DBUs. ICICI Bank is a leading private sector bank in India with a market cap of around $74 billion.

According to the Bank, its launch of these DBUs aligns with the government’s plan to launch 75 DBUs commemorating India’s 75th year of independence.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the DBUs virtually today in the presence of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honourable Finance Minister, and Shri Shaktikanta Das, RBI Governor. ICICI Bank has set up the DBUs at Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Karur in Tamil Nadu, Kohima in Nagaland, and Puducherry.

ICICI explains a DBU as a “self-service zone” and a “digital assistance zone.” The self-service zone incorporates an ATM, Cash Deposits, and a “multi-functional kiosk” that also incorporates internet banking. A “Digi Branch Kiosk” will also offer all services available on iMobile Pay, the Bank’s mobile banking app.

The Digital Assistance Zone is more analog, with branch officials assisting customers in undertaking various financial and non-financial transactions. These include the opening of saving accounts, current accounts, fixed deposits, and recurring deposits as well as credit and lending services. Branch officials will be available to help customers download and start using the mobile banking app as well as internet banking.

Rakesh Jha, Executive Director (Designate), ICICI Bank, commented on the announcement:

 “We are delighted to be part of the initiative of setting up DBUs across the nation, under the aegis of RBI. They operate like digital branches where customers can undertake banking transactions digitally, at a time of their convenience. They can also seek guidance from experts on banking services at these units. In the last few years, we have seen that the customer’s behaviour at branches has evolved. Customers are now more keen to seek advice and guidance at branches for complex transactions, loans and investments while they prefer doing simple transactions on their own through digital channels like internet and mobile banking. We have designed the DBUs to meet these evolving requirements of our customers.”

A report authored in 2017 estimated there were 190 million unbanked individuals in India. Meanwhile, a World Bank Report from 2021 indicates that 51 percent of unbanked adults in India have a mobile phone. Another interesting metric is that 540 million Indian adults have made no digital payments.

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