The State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) has filed an application with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for a virtual bank branch licence.
The bank has proposed to open a full branch at its URL, www.sbbj.com.
“The customer will not walk into that branch at all. So, everything will be done either online or through mails,” said Shiva Kumar, managing director of SBBJ, an associate of the State Bank of India. Kumar is hopeful to get a virtual banking license but the banking regulator may be conservative in granting one.
RBI had rejected such applications in the past citing norms that need modifications to allow virtual banking. There are other hurdles too. For instance, even though most transactions can be carried out online, cash deposits still need to be made at the bank branch. “In future, there will be Automated Teller Machines that will allow customers to deposit cash as well as withdraw. There will not be any need for a home branch then,” said Kumar.
The bank would just need an office for its employees who will connect with the customers using internet video chat facility. For other needs, the bank has plans to outsource the work to an agency. Also, there point of sales (PoS) terminals to take care of the spending needs of the customers. SBBJ has 250 PoS terminals deployed with merchant establishments and plans to add 500 more.
The lender is already sanctioning home and car loans with the help of internet banking. The customer simply needs to key in all the required information and have the loan sanctioned in few minutes. The bank will arrange for the disbursement once all the ‘know your customer’ norms are fulfilled by the customer.