SBI to have 8 standardised desks at retail branches

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on June 10, 2020 Published on June 10, 2020

Move aimed at de-cluttering branches and improving customer service

State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to roll-out a new streamlined delivery process, entailing setting up eight standardised desks, in its 21,734 retail branches from July 1, to ensure better crowd management, optimise staff productivity and bring uniformity in customer experience.

This move comes in view of the evolving banking scenario, with increasing customer base (currently at about 49 crore), enhanced product and service requirements and stiff competition.

India’s largest bank wants to have eight standardised desks in its branches — Single Window Operator (SWO), Customer Service Desk (CSD), Account Opening Desk (AOD), Investment Desk, Advances Desk, Customer Support Executive (CSE), Cash Management Desk (CMD) and Forex Desk — with dedicated work assigned to them.

SBI’s attempt to introduce these desks is aimed at de-cluttering branches, transforming them from being transaction oriented to business oriented, and improving service delivery.

This also comes in the backdrop of the share of transactions through alternative channels increasing to 91 per cent by March-end 2020 (from 88 per cent by March-end 2019) and the share of transactions through branches decreasing to 9 per cent (12 per cent).

Alternative channels include digital (internet, mobile, unified payments interface and YONO financial application, among others); ATM and Cash Deposit Machine; and Business Correspondent.

Desk activities

The SWO will undertake activities relating to cash and transfer/remittances transaction. The CSD will be responsible for activities such as Know-Your-Customer update; cheque book request; passbook printing; ATM, mobile and internet banking-related service; Aadhaar linking; pension; and customer complaints handling.

The CMD will handle activities such as high value cash transactions, gold loans, bulk entries, clearing and scanning cheques, and work as an SWO during peak hours. The AOD will ensure account opening, account maintenance, transfer of account and deceased account settlement.

The Advances Desk will undertake activities relating to personal and SME (small and medium enterprise) advances, pre-sanction survey and follow-up on leads, maintenance and monitoring loan accounts, and non-performing assets management.

The Investment Desk will be responsible for cross-selling, demand loans (against bank deposits), fixed deposits, locker operations and maintenance, and issuing balance certificate and forms to claim interest receipt without deduction of tax. The Forex Desk will handle foreign exchange-related transactions.

The CSE will help with token generation, filling forms for senior citizens/illiterate customers, and migrating customers to alternative channels, among others.

As per the bank’s communication to its branches, the number and type of standardised desks for a particular branch will be decided on the basis of its profile — scale and size of branch, daily transaction volume, business, daily account opening, loan sourcing/sanction, NRI customers, whether the branch is performing any special type of activity, etc.

The bank’s IT department is developing a dashboard to include time-motion study and provide guidance for requirement of standardised desks in each branch.

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Published on June 10, 2020
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