The basic need for banking transaction is an ATM machine. But now banks in order to lure and pamper their customers especially young, trendy and tech savvy students, professionals and entrepreneurs, several banks are opening next-gen 24/7banking outlets of 300 to 500 sq ft. These banking lounges will have facilities like LCD TVs, libraries, Wi-Fi internet access and coffee bars.
Bank of Baroda has already set up its new-era branches named "Ur Zone" in Bangalore and Pune. M D Mallya, CMD, Bank of Baroda told that the new –era branch is a fusion of hi-tech and high-touch banking self-service facility.
He said, "We have already opened next-gem branches in two cities. By the end of this year we plan to open more such outlets in all metros." Through these lounge branches exclusive products and hassle-free services are being offered like single loan application, built-in overdraft facility and products of liquidity and high returns.
"After the opening of our Bangalore branch, we see an increase in the number of new accounts especially among youngsters," he says.
A spokesperson from SBI said, State Bank of India under its business process re-engineering program has renovated several of its branches built on an area of 3,000 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft "We are creating 24/7, dedicated, 300 sq.ft lounges with access to ATM, internet banking, phone banking and other kind of hi-tech transactions in a couple of months. All branches in Bangalore will have this facility, apart from other metros and later in tier II cities."
Vijaya Bank and Canara Bank too have plans to scheme into similar initiatives. Prakash P Mallya, CMD of Vijaya Bank informed, "If market demands we will look at specialized branches exclusively to attract young crowd. But before that we need to do a lot of homework, to open state-of-the art smart branches."
Canara Bank has plans to set up branches with self-assist centers in the lobby where customers can do their banking on their own having a couple of smart, well-groomed professionals who would guide customers with their queries. However, private banks like YES Bank are already offering such services. YES Bank has an exclusively designed area called Knowledge Cafeto, which is Wi-Fi enabled. These cafes have space for business discussions, advisory services and research options.