BFSI VISION Branch Transformation


Ajit Rath

GM-IT, Union Bank of India

Banks now in process of providing services at fingertips

Business drivers for Branch Transformation
Traditionally our branches are designed to attract large number of customer footfalls for all kind or services ranging from small to big-like payment, deposit, transfer services and others. Today technology has changed and people can avail services on smartphones,. Today our E-Lobby branches are doing well, where many kinds of self services are available. Today customers are not willing to come to banks for each and every transaction, rather they want all the services to be provided to them wherever they are at the own convenience. And even if they come to bank, they only come for specific services likewise to avail loans or other purposes. Thus branches should be transformed keeping in view the customers need and comfort. For this Union Bank of India did a Branch Transformation exercise 2-3 years ago, under which we changed the computer work through of the branch .Earlier there were simple account opening, for which people had go to multiple counters , but however today everything is one stop process. These changes started when banks tied up with organizations for Branch Transformation. We found the services which segregate the branches into content and back end services. And we pulled all the back end services into a centralised process. Today the branch servers have enough time to physically serve and discuss with the customers and take their feedbacks and proceed further. We have more than 300 branches and we want to penetrate more into the rural areas to offer our services.

Applications that will find customer acceptance
From our experiences what we witness is that people want all the services at the tip of their hand. Today even putting a cheque has become so easy by our check drop services. Through our mobile banking services customers can place a cheque book request as compared to earlier days where this was not possible. So it's essential for us to enable such portable services which can save time of our customers.

Nudging customers towards these applications
This is a continuous engagement with the customers. When we deployed ATM's earlier the ATM usage was very low. When customers came to our bank, we educated them about our ATM services. This was a little drive from us where we took the customers to the ATM and taught them how to use the ATM machine. Even when it comes to internet banking, it was not accepted earlier, but today certain banks are only focusing on retail banking services through mobile or social media. It's all about customer education, the banks have to solely focus on educating the customers on the upcoming services. And thereafter everything depends on the customer's choice of usage

Business or process challenges in branch transformation
There are many process challenges. Branches which are old are used to old technology and are doing jobs in a particular manner, so there's a complete change of work flow.

Today the jobs depend all on technology, thus saving the customer's time. But for all these changes constant training is required to bring in the new style in place. It takes little time, but once it's adopted by the branches everything will run smoothly.