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State Bank of India is a behemoth. So, any internal changes in the bank too would have enormous implications. For example, the digitization effort in the bank. CTO of the bank Shiv Kumar Bhasin outlines the effort:

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There is a massive digital transformation that is happening in State Bank of India, chiefly to be in concert with the Digital India initiative, which the government is driving. An array of products and services will in the near future make the bank a pioneer in digital transactions and mobile device- enabled banking.

“In this transformation, our thrust is on three core areas – Mobility, Self-service and Ensuring availability and robustness of services. We believe mobile is going to be at the center of the transformation and this will help us strengthen our proposition,” says Shiv Kumar Bhasin, CTO, of the bank, who has been tasked with hastening this transformation.

MOBILITY

“Being a public sector bank has in no way impacted our efforts to take up digitization in a big way,” says Bhasin. “I can quote two major initiatives in the mobility
applications realm – State Bank Anywhere and State Bank Freedom. State Bank Anywhere is our retail internet banking application offered on mobile. A customer can do a whole lot of financial transactions – balance enquiry, funds transfer, credit card payments, RTGS funds transfer, bill payments, mCash (mobile to mobile funds transfer), instant term deposits, mobile top-up etc, while they can also do non- financial transactions like m-Passbook, ATM cum debit card hot listing and cheque book request. This service is available on SmartPhones.

“Similarly, State Bank Freedom is the branch on your mobile – you can make balance enquiries, do remittances and make bill payments, mobile top-ups, DTH recharge etc. The service is available on feature phones supporting multi-protocol application clients eg Java application, client app with encrypted SMS, SMS banking client and USSD Client.”

Bhasin says these two apps have
been quite successful and have earned the bank quite a bit of appreciation from its customers.

Another aspect that has indeed helped the bank in improving its customer service is SMS Banking and Missed Call Banking. SBI Quick – Missed Call Banking is a service which involves banking by giving a missed call or sending an SMS with pre-defined keywords to a customer’s registered mobile number. Once SBI Quick is downloaded, the customer need not have to remember the various keywords and destination mobile numbers.

“SBI Quick has been appreciated more by our rural customers than those in urban areas mainly because SMS/Missed Call for these customers is a sure shot way of making sure that a transaction has indeed taken place. Besides, through SMS Banking customers can get services such as enquiry of balance in the account, mini statement, mobile to mobile money transfer through IMPS, mobile top-up and DTH top-up/
recharge. Once installed, an internet connection is not needed to use the app as the communication would happen over SMS or Missed Call,” adds Bhasin.

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