How SBI transformed customer experience at branches using digital mediums

By Shiv Kumar Bhasin, CTO, State Bank of India

As consumer banking preferences continue to change, it is important for financial institutions to transform their branch networks. Despite high usage rates for internet and mobile channels, it has been found that customers still derive value from branches. Representing and protecting the brand of an organization, providing a physical presence and serving the full range of customer needs, the branch network has always been the heart of a bank’s franchise and revenue generating potential. Customers are increasingly clear (not to mention vocal) about how they view their branches. While they like the convenience of Internet Banking, they also like the personal nature of branch banking.

Branches — A New Multi-Channel/Omni-Channel Reality
Any banker can easily prove that electronic transactions, like balance inquiries and account transfers, are exponentially cheaper than the same transaction conducted through a bank representative either in a branch or through a call center. Yet at the same time, face-to-face contact with a bank representative is still the most effective way of building revenue from high value sales and services. Optimizing the channel mix as part of a multi-channel strategy to service and sell to customers is the new reality — and at the heart of this reality remains the branch.

Connecting with customer sentiment and tastes are significant aspects. Customers seek certainty, variety, significance, connection, growth and to contribute within their relationships. Therefore, using high-tech and high-touch tools will provide a purposeful vision for banks. Having a “connected brand” becomes an important aspect of maintaining your customer’s attention. Bank needs to consider aspects like digitalizing the customer’s journey, creating video campaigns over products and services, launching social campaigns, and customizing the customers overall experience. Fundamental changes in consumer behavior should influence the bank’s corporate strategies, purpose and vision. There must be a value proposition for the customer.

Keeping the above facts in mind in State Bank of India, I carried out few disruptive transformations of the SBU Branches by optimizing the business processes and digitizing the paper based processes, ensuring digital presence in their day to day usage of paper.

Branch Teller Application Transformation: Core banking application is transformed by re-engineering of business processes, and re-imagining the user interface of branch teller application to provide next generation Customer Experience. It has cut down the time to serve the customers at branches by teller from 30% to 75%.

SBI Digi Voucher : Today in the branch for most of the transactions, customer needs to fill-up paper form/voucher for Cash Withdrawal, Cash/Cheque deposit, Draft Issuance, NEFT/RTGS payments etc, to carry out this transaction. These paper vouchers require paper manufactured from 50 trees/day.

To digitize this process and re-imagine the customer experience SBI Digi Voucher mobile application is created so that Customers could fill up virtual vouchers on the mobile app before coming to branch in the comfort of their home/office. Alternatively, if customers don’t have smartphone, they can use the kiosk in the branch to fill up virtual vouchers electronically.

• STATE BANK NO Queue is a unique App to enable customers to book a Virtual Queue Ticket (e-Token) for select services at select SBI branches. Customers can generate e-Token before reaching the branch, thus avoiding waiting in the queue at the branch and saving valuable time. The App also conveys the estimated waiting time, number of customers ahead and a map showing the direction to reach the branch. Customers will be updated about their position in the queue through instant alerts.

• Digitization of customer acquisition and account opening process: SBI Scribe facilitates digitization of customer acquisition and saving account opening process. Customer need to fill-up paper form on the digital pad, which has customer handwriting recognition capability and transmits the data real-time to Core Banking System. KYC documents are photographed/scanned by the branch staff, and uploaded real-time. It enhances the customer experience several notches above, and saves time to make the customer account fully operational. And customer walks out of the branch with fully operational account immediately during the branch visit of customer.

These are various disruptive tools and services offered by State Bank of India to enhance the customer experience in branches several notches above the current state. These are some of the key steps taken by the largest high street lender in India for complete digitization of banking process in branches and omni-channel experience across channels

digital transformationSBIShiv Kumar BhasinState Bank of India
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