All the Public Sector Banks, ten Private Banks and one Small Finance Bank have initiated the work to operationalise 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts by July 2022, the Indian Banks’ Association said.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in the Union budget 2022-23 that 75 DBUs in 75 districts will be set up to commemorate the 75 years of Independence so that the benefits of digital banking reach every nook and corner of the country.

The progress in pilot implementation of the project is being regularly monitored by a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee, the Association said in a statement. 

In its guidelines for setting up of DBUs, RBI permitted Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) with past digital banking experience to open DBUs in Tier 1 to Tier 6 centres.

Minimum digital infrastructure

A DBU is a specialised fixed point business unit/hub housing certain minimum digital infrastructure for delivering digital banking products and services as well as servicing existing financial products and services digitally, in both self-service and assisted mode at any time, all year round, according to the RBI.

The banking regulator emphasised that establishment of DBUs should be part of the digital banking strategy of the bank. DBUs of banks will be treated as Banking Outlets (BOs).

Each DBU has to be housed distinctly, with the separate entry and exit provisions. They will be separate from an existing BO with formats and designs most appropriate for digital banking users.

Further, banks have the option to engage digital business facilitator/business correspondents, keeping in view the relevant regulations to expand the virtual footprint of DBUs

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