From Mi­cro­fi­nanc­ing to Bank­ing

With a spe­cial fo­cus on ru­ral, un­served and un­der­served ar­eas, Ujji­van Mi­cro­fi­nance Ser­vices has com­menced its full fledged bank­ing ser­vices to the cus­tomers. It would con­vert all its 457 mi­cro­fi­nance branches into bank branches in three years. Mohd Musta

Rural & Marketing - - CON­TENT -

With hav­ing one third cus­tomers in the ru­ral ar­eas in its old form of mi­cro­fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion, the Ujji­van Small Fi­nance Bank (SFB) is giv­ing spe­cial fo­cus on the ru­ral, un­served and un­der­served ar­eas. Work­ing as a mi­cro­fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion since 2005, it com­menced full fledged bank­ing ser­vices as a small bank since Fe­bru­ary 1, 2017.

Ex­pand­ing fur­ther, Ujji­van to­day an­nounced the com­mence­ment of bank­ing op­er­a­tions in Delhi by con­vert­ing its five mi­cro­fi­nance cen­tres as its bank branches, lo­cated in Budh Vi­har, Pul Pra­ha­l­ad­pur, Vi­gyan Vi­har, Nan­gloi and Hast­sal. Since Fe­bru­ary, Ujji­van SFB has es­tab­lished 20 branches in Ben­galuru, Ra­mana­gara, Mum­bai and New Delhi.

Ujji­van is fo­cus­ing on con­vert­ing its all 457 mi­cro­fi­nance branches into bank branches in three years. Since its com­mence­ment of bank­ing ser­vices, in 100 days, it is fo­cus­ing on start­ing bank­ing ser­vices in all parts of the coun­try by open­ing in Kolkata and Pune. It is al­ready pro­vid­ing bank­ing ser­vices in Kar­nataka, Delhi and Mum­bai.

The bank com­menced op­er­a­tions as a Small Fi­nance Bank af­ter get­ting the a li­cence from Re­serve Bank of In­dia un­der Sec­tion 22 (1) of the Bank­ing Reg­u­la­tion Act, 1949 to carry on the busi­ness of small fi­nance bank in In­dia.

Speak­ing on the com­mence­ment of bank­ing ser­vices, Samit Ghosh, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Ujji­van SFB said, “Af­ter serv­ing our cus­tomers as a mi­cro­fi­nance en­tity for over a decade, I am pleased to an­nounce the launch of bank­ing op­er­a­tions. The trans­for­ma­tion to a Small Fi­nance Bank will em­power the un­served and un­der­served cus­tomer seg­ment with a full range of bank­ing ser­vices. Our im­me­di­ate ob­jec­tive is to reach out to the large un­banked pop­u­lace and get them into the for­mal bank­ing sys­tem.”

High­light­ing the bank’s foot­prints, he said, “In 10 years, we would be able to be the best small fi­nance bank in In­dia as ear­lier we ex­celled in mi­cro­fi­nance. The seg­ment, we are fo­cus­ing on, is

largely un­served and un­der­served. We have de­signed our strate­gies and prod­ucts af­ter con­duct­ing in­ten­sive re­search on the likes and dis­likes of bank­ing cus­tomers.

“We have es­pe­cially de­signed our ser­vices to in­crease the cus­tomer base in the tar­geted. In one year, we are go­ing to open 25 branches in the un­banked ru­ral ar­eas,” Ghosh added.

Asked by Ru­ral & Mar­ket­ing, whether it adopts bank­ing cor­re­spon­dent model or full fledged bank branches to serve ru­ral ar­eas? Ghosh, said, “Our cus­tomers are equally di­vided in ur­ban, semi-ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. As per RBI’s man­date, we are re­quired to open 25 per­cent branches in the un­banked ru­ral ar­eas. Those are com­plete ru­ral branches. We are go­ing to ru­ral cus­tomers di­rectly.”

Ujji­van SFB has also launched a pow­er­ful, ed­u­ca­tional film on fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy ti­tled ‘Pai­son Ki ABCD’ in part­ner­ship with Pari­naam Foun­da­tion, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion. Fi­nan­cial Lit­er­acy of the eco­nom­i­cally de­prived is the first step to­wards en­sur­ing fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in In­dia. Through the film, Ujji­van SFB and Pari­naam Foun­da­tion in­tend to in­flu­ence the mind­set of con­sumers, elim­i­nate the mis­con­cep­tions about bank­ing and ed­u­cate them about the im­por­tance and ben­e­fits of a bank ac­count. The film high­lights how Ujji­van SFB will make the bank­ing process sim­ple, ac­ces­si­ble for cus­tomers; strengthen their fi­nances and set their fu­ture on a path of fi­nan­cial free­dom.

“We will con­tinue to do fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy as a small fi­nance bank. We are the only bank to op­er­ate its all ATMs with bio­met­rics,” It­tira Davis, Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of the bank said.

Ujji­van SFB is a wholly owned sub­sidiary of Ujji­van Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices. Over the past decade, Ujji­van has built a strong pres­ence in New Delhi with 9 mi­cro­fi­nance branches ca­ter­ing to over 71,000 cus­tomers. The ex­ist­ing Ujji­van cus­tomers in the city would be on-boarded as bank cus­tomers. The process of on-board­ing over 30,000 mi­cro­fi­nance cus­tomers has al­ready been ini­ti­ated, while the tran­si­tion for the rest will take place in a phased man­ner.

Elu­ci­dat­ing the bank­ing ser­vices, Davis said, “We are striv­ing to­wards mak­ing bank­ing more seam­less and ac­ces­si­ble for our cus­tomers and hence we have in­vested sig­nif­i­cantly on tech­nol­ogy and digi­ti­sa­tion. Ujji­van SFB is of­fer­ing sav­ings bank ac­count with no charges for min­i­mum bal­ance. Ad­di­tion­ally, we are pro­vid­ing a whole host of ben­e­fits such as doorstep bank­ing, mo­bile, in­ter­net and phone bank­ing, ac­cess to bio­met­ric ATMs and Aad­haar en­abled debit cards. Aad­haar en­abled KYC en­ables pa­per­less ac­count open­ing in ap­prox­i­mately 5-7 min­utes us­ing bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion on a hand-held de­vice. The de­vice can also be used for cash de­posits, with­drawals and fund trans­fers at the cus­tomer’s doorstep.’’

The cus­tomers of Ujji­van SFB will have un­lim­ited ac­cess to ATM trans­ac­tions on its ATM net­work and a to­tal of six free trans­ac­tions on other bank’s ATM net­works in a month.

Ujji­van SFB will also of­fer re­mit­tance ser­vices en­abling cus­tomers to trans­fer money within Ujji­van and other bank ac­counts in a very rea­son­able and af­ford­able man­ner.

Go­ing fur­ther, the Ujji­van has re­cently com­menced its op­er­a­tions in Tamil Nadu by in­au­gu­rat­ing five branches. The branches are lo­cated in Salem, Kr­ish­na­giri, Dharma­puri, Vel­lore Kat­padi and Tiru­pathur. USFB at present has 34 branches spread across Kar­nataka, Ma­ha­rasthra, New Delhi and West Ben­gal be­sides Tamil Nadu. Ujji­van’s Mi­cro­fi­nance busi­ness was al­ready op­er­a­tional in 24 districts in Tamil Nadu with 56 branches. In less than four months of the bank launch has es­tab­lished pres­ence across all four re­gions - South, North, East and West and in the com­ing months, it is plan­ning to in­crease bank­ing foot­print across the coun­try.

Ujji­van SFB aims at build­ing a lead­ing state-of-the-art mass mar­ket bank in five years to serve the vast un­served and un­der­served cus­tomer base who cur­rently are out­side the for­mal bank­ing sys­tem. Fo­cussing on serv­ing the un­der­served pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try, Ujji­van is ex­pected to bring ef­fec­tive fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in the re­mote ar­eas.

Ujji­van's cus­tomers are equally di­vided in ur­ban, semi-ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. As per RBI’s man­date, the bank is re­quired to open 25% branches in un­banked ru­ral ar­eas. Those are com­plete ru­ral branches

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.