Across India, as many as 75 digital banking units were launched on Sunday.
In a move, which the government said, will help bring financial services and literacy to more citizens, several villages and small towns have been brought under the advanced banking facilities.
At a virtual address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that the digital banking units will “further financial inclusion” and “significantly improve the banking experience for the citizens”.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union budget speech for 2022-23 had said the government would set up 75 DBUs in 75 districts to commemorate our country's 75 years of independence.
What are these digital banking units (DBUs)?
A digital banking unit is a specialised fixed point business hub, which houses digital infrastructure for delivering digital banking products and services. It also provides assistance to existing financial products digitally in self-service mode at any time. In April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the guidelines for DBUs, following the report of a working group of the Indian Banks Association (IBA).
Who will set up these DBUs?
The units were set up in collaboration with over 20 public and private banks. The brick-and-mortar outlets are equipped with tablets and internet services which will help individuals and small businesses open their savings accounts, access government schemes, make transactions and avail of loans and insurance.
“Self-service mode will be available 24x7x365 days,” said Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in a virtual conference.
Das added, “The banks are also free to engage the services of digital business facilities and correspondence to expand the footprint of DBUs.”
According to Das, the units will also offer a digital assistance zone to answer queries from individuals and small businesses and hear their grievances.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We have prioritised ensuring that banking services reach the last mile.”