Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

Banks on an overdrive to enroll new customers

ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai | Posted: August 29, 2014 2:29 am | Updated: August 29, 2014 10:48 am

On the day of the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), banks made hectic efforts across the country to enlist as many customers as possible under the mega financial inclusion plan.

State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, led the initiative by opening over 20 lakh basic savings bank deposit accounts, thus helping to reach the overall target of 1.5 crore accounts set for the first day of the scheme.

SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said, “Banks are fully geared up to universalise banking access and financial inclusion under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. The use of debit cards will allow the unbanked to start building a transaction history, which can be a decisive step in initiating them towards financial inclusion. This will also help the banks for better product designing and targeting.”

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, opened 1 lakh basic savings bank deposit accounts on Thursday. ICICI opened the accounts by conducting 1,100 camps across its network of more than 3,700 branches and in villages.

Under this scheme, banks offer each account holder a passbook, a RuPay Debit Card with an accident cover of Rs 1 lakh, life insurance cover of Rs 30,000 and overdraft facility of Rs 5,000. The accident cover will be provided by HDFC Ergo while LIC will provide life insurance cover.

Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, said, “The PMJDY inspires us to renew our commitment to the goal of financial inclusion with even greater vigour and focus.”

Public sector IDBI Bank opened more than 3.62 lakh basic savings accounts under this plan, as against a targeted number of 2 lakh accounts and held camps at more than 6,800 locations across the length and breadth of the country, it said.

Officials at SBI, which has the maximum branch network, said its employees fanned across the nook and corner of the country. Banks also enlisted the support of business correspondents in the camps conducted in villages and urban areas. The account-opening procedures were paper-less and opened on the basis of Aadhaar identification.

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