State Bank of India (SBI), the nation’s largest bank, has launched six digital branches across the country, as part of a pioneering program to offer next generation banking solutions to India’s growing mobile phone and internet-savvy customer base. The bank engaged Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to develop the digital business strategy for its branch program, which features a range of advanced digital banking capabilities, including instant account opening with personalized debit cards, instant loan approvals for car and home loans and remote expert advisors available via video links. Accenture helped SBI in designing the branch layouts, implementing the digital processes and technology at the branches, and providing back-end integration, including employee training.
SBI aims to transform the customer experience by delivering world-class service through all of its customer channels. Its new branches, branded as sbiINTOUCH, are equipped with interactive wall and table displays; remote experts that can be reached instantly via high-definition videoconferencing; and multi-function kiosks that provide services such as instant account opening with personalized debit cards, and instant in-principle approvals for home, auto or education loans. The branches are located in major metropolitan areas across India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Ahmedabad.
“India is in the midst of a major demographic transition and we recognize that our customers increasingly expect digital services to help them manage their financial needs,” said Arundhati Bhattacharya, the chairman of State Bank of India. “Today, more than half of India’s population is under the age of 25. By 2020, India’s average age will be just 29 years – this is a digital demographic: one that expects businesses to provide solutions immediately. At the same time, the mass-affluent – no matter what their age – have similar expectations. Indian banks need to provide a strong response to these new demands. These branches are a first step in the journey to offering full digital services across the nation.”
“InTouch is the start of SBI’s Digital journey,” said S K Mishra, deputy managing director, State Bank of India. “This is our attempt to put our brand in touch with the dreams of the aspirational customer. It’s a deep rooted transformation that has three aspects: a transformation of the customer experience we deliver; introduction of device centric technology that is at the forefront of our global peers; and transformation of the behavioral model of our staff-base to be even more customer centric.”
“India has an opportunity to become a world leader in digital banking services, and we are pleased to collaborate with the leadership team of the State Bank of India,” said Piyush Singh, managing director and head of Accenture’s Financial Services operating group in India. “By putting technology at the heart of their business strategy, India’s largest bank will be at the forefront of the global digital revolution that is transforming banking.”
The transformative initiative leverages Accenture’s deep banking-industry knowledge and expertise in strategy and systems-integration, and capabilities in digital marketing, mobility and analytics from Accenture Digital.