To get customers to use alternate banking channels such as ATMs, Internet and mobile banking, State Bank of India has started technology learning centres at 385 regional business offices across the country.
India’s largest bank is conducting free interactive learning sessions for customers on the third Friday of every month at these offices.
“We found that many of our customers needed handholding to use technology oriented offerings from the bank. So, we have started an initiative called technology learning centre.
“Therefore, at 385 RBOs (regional business offices), on the third Friday of every month, we have customer gatherings in two sessions in the evening,” said Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya.
Bank officials take customers through all the new products and handhold them on all the machines so that they can actually do transactions. So far the bank has covered about 30,000 customers through TLCs, she added.
The interactive learning session take customers through the how’s and why’s of the bank’s alternate banking channels, including Net banking, mobile banking, green channel, ATMs, Cash Deposit Machines, plastic banking (cards), pass book digital printing, and more.
Elaborating on these technology initiatives, the SBI chief said, it has started a quick – missed call – banking service.
Under this service, a customer can give a missed call or send an SMS to one of five dedicated numbers to receive, among others, balance in the account, a mini statement and also block cards.
“Already in a month’s time we have seen traction to the extent of 1.3-1.6 lakh transactions being done on this missed call banking,” she said.
In respect of ATMs, Bhattacharya said the uptime is something that her bank needs to press forward with. And this (uptime) is a problem in rural areas because of lack of electricity.
“Hence, we have installed 800 solar powered ATMs in rural areas. Depending on how these ATMs perform, we will be rolling out further numbers,” she said.
Further, to enable visually impaired persons to use ATMs, the bank now has 8,000 talking ATMs.