Mumbai: ICICI Bank today announced that it has expanded its retail network in Maharashtra by adding 35 new branches this fiscal. This is part of the nationwide branch expansion initiative of the Bank. In FY’20, the Bank aims to open 450 new branches across the country, of which more than 385 have already been opened.
Of these new branches in the state, nine are in hitherto unbanked villages namely, Kolpa in Latur, Kumbhari in Sangli, Chatori in Nashik and Sakharoli in Ratnagiri among others. Other branches have been opened in locations like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur and Raigarh among others. The expansion in the state has resulted in the Bank now having a branch network of 757 branches and extension counters in Maharashtra along with 3007 ATMs.
ICICI Bank now has a wide retail network of over 5260 branches across the country. The Bank’s branch footprint now covers locations across the country from Leh in Jammu & Kashmir to Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, from Naliya in Gujarat to Aizawl in Mizoram. Nearly half of the branches are in rural and semi-urban areas to facilitate financial inclusion in the country.
Mr. Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, said “We believe that a wide branch network continues to be important for retail banking. It helps deepen the relationship with the customer by serving them a wide range of products and offerings. More importantly, the branches offer consultation and guidance to customers for all kinds of banking requirements including mortgages, business banking, other loans and investments. Our strategy is to set up branches wherever business activity emerges. In line with this strategy, we have expanded our branch network by setting up 35 branches across the state, from prominent cities to emerging locations and even villages which were unbanked until now. This is a part of our nationwide expansion of setting up around 450 branches this fiscal in fresh catchments and micro-markets where economic activity is present. Of these, we have already set up over 385 branches.
In the last few years, we have seen that the nature of business at branches has evolved. Customers are now more keen to seek advice and guidance from branches for complex transactions, loans and investments. For simple transactions, they prefer doing it over digital channels like internet and mobile banking. Our new branches too have been aligned to meet these evolving requirements. They sport a contemporary look and feel to provide a superior experience to our customers. The design principle focuses on enhancing digital transactions by introducing 24x7 ‘e-lobby’ at many branches, simplifying customer navigation with demarcated spaces for transactions as well as elevating customer engagement levels with exclusive engagement ‘pods’ for loans and investments at prominent catchment areas.“
Most of the branches are operational from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm while some are open till 8 pm. The branches will offer a comprehensive range of retail products and offerings like accounts, deposits, loans like home, personal and auto along with a suite of banking solutions for businesses and NRI. Many offer locker facilities as well. Additionally, branches in semi-urban and rural areas will offer agri products, Jewel Loan, KCC and Self Help Group lending to cater to the requirements of customers in emerging locations.
The Bank also offers a slew of technology led innovations at its branches. The list includes:
· ‘Touch Banking’ branches: The Bank was the first to introduce these fully automated and digital branches, which are available 24x7, on all days. We have 16 such branches in Maharashtra.
· ‘Insta Banking’ self-service kiosks: It is a first of its kind, strategic self-servicing kiosk in the banking industry. It is designed to provide a superior banking experience to the Bank’s customers. These touch screen kiosks allow quick access to 55 transactions like pan update, email update, account portability, re-issue of debit card, generate bank statements, balance enquiry, transfer funds, NEFT/IMPS and many more. The Bank has a robust network of 200 kiosks across its branches.
· Cash deposit and withdrawal machines: A pivotal part of the Bank’s endeavour to offer instantaneous service to customers, these kiosks enable account holders or their representatives to deposit cash in an ICICI Bank account in a completely automated manner with instant account credit, thereby providing convenience and ease of operations. This is in lieu of filling up pay-in-slip and manual cash deposit at the teller counter. These machines, also known as recyclers, circulate the deposited cash to be used for withdrawal purposes within the machines themselves, thus optimising the cash inflow and outflow automatically. In Maharashtra, we have enabled over 280 such machines for the convenience of the customers.
· ‘Insta Banking’ (available in iMobile): It aims to reduce the time spent in filling up physical paper challans for commonly used transactions in a bank branch. Using this app, customers can pre- process their desired transactions anytime, anywhere before walking to the branch and save their valuable time. Over 65% of financial transactions at the branches are initiated by customers by using the pre-staging of facilities done through ‘Insta Banking’.