Over the last few years, our current government has really looked to push on with its “Digital India” initiative to reduce the use of paper currency in banking. As a follow up to the demonetization plan, the central government has tried to bring more and more people under the scope of electronic banking, in order to make up for the huge deficits of currency in the economy. While the project didn’t go all that well due to lack of planning and poor execution, it has to be said that the intention behind it was progressive.
Despite all the glaring flaws in the plans to digitalize our economy, the government has been successful over the past 6 months in increasing the usage of online payment apps like Paytm, and of Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Net-Banking Services. Now the State Bank of India has taken this initiative to a whole new level, by extending its paperless banking services outside India, to Nepal. Nepal SBI, a subsidiary of the SBI, has started a new digital banking service, aimed at the younger generations of consumers with exposure to internet and smartphones.
Customers can now use the SBI Intouch Bank to deposit money, create new accounts, request for debit cards and view transaction details, all on a virtual interface. The Nepal SBI unit has even set up its own robot, that would explain the details and benefits of online banking to the customers. This is the first project of its nature in the country, and is expected to improve bilateral relations between India and Nepal.
The service was inaugurated on Saturday by Nepal Rastra Bank Governor, Chiranjeevi Nepal, SBI’s chairwoman Arundhati Bhattacharya, and India’s Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri.