State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to engage the services of an external agency to carry out incognito visits to its branches to monitor customer services from the current financial year.

India’s largest bank intends the incognito visits to the branches to be undertaken on an annual basis. The bank had 22,405 domestic branches as of March-end 2023. “The importance of customer-centricity in banking operations and building long-term relationships cannot be overstated. We need to understand the pulse of customers, keep on evolving with time, enhance our offerings and make customer experience of our bank as benchmark in the industry,” said Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara.

The RBI officers have been carrying out incognito visits to bank branches to make an independent assessment of the level of customer service provided by banks.

SBI is also planning to build KaaS (KYC as a Service) for better management of KYC (know your customer) profiling of the customers.

RBI has directed Regulated Entities to follow ‘KYC Guidelines’, in terms of Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, whereby certain personal information of the customer is obtained. KYC policy of a bank has four components — customer acceptance policy, risk management, customer identification procedures and monitoring of transactions.

In the past, RBI has imposed monetary penalties on some banks for non-compliance with certain provisions of its directions on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms/Anti Money Laundering (AML) standards and opening of current accounts and savings accounts.

Centralised calling facility

To improve customer engagement and understand their issues, SBI is developing a centralised calling facility for the branch channel customers who are dissatisfied and have given lower feedback ratings. The bank is planning to improve the customer feedback process by taking feedback via QR (quick response) code from customers/non-customers visiting branches.

As deceased claim settlement process is one of the major customer pain points, SBI is seeking to address this issue with a technology driven digitised process flow, which is scheduled to be rolled out soon.