Reserve Bank of India to allow banks to open digital banking units

Monday 11 April 2022 11:46 CET | News

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced norms to allow commercial banks to open digital banking units (DBU), according to Business Standard.

The Union Budget of 2022-23 had announced the setting up of 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts to commemorate the 75 years of independence of our country. To start with, all scheduled commercial banks with past digital banking experience are allowed to open such units except for regional rural banks, local area banks, and payments banks, without prior approval of the RBI in tier-1 to tier-6 cities.

DBU has been defined as a specialised fixed point business unit or 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.

The aim of DBUs is to enable customers to have cost-effective and convenient access and an improved digital experience of such products and services in ‘an efficient, paperless, secured, and connected environment with most services being available in self-service mode at any time, all year round’. The RBI has also said each DBU should be housed distinctly, with separate entry and exit provisions. 

The banking regulator has mandated minimum products and services that banks must offer in these DBUs. ‘Each DBU must offer certain minimum digital banking products and services. Such products should be on both liabilities and assets side of the balance sheet of the digital banking segment… The DBUs are expected to migrate to more structured and custom-made products, from standard offerings by use of its hybrid and high-quality interactive capabilities,’ the RBI said.

Among liability products, savings account, current account opening, fixed and recurring deposit products, mobile and internet banking, debit card, digital kits for merchants and customers, UPI QR code, Point of sale terminal, etc., have been mandated.

Among asset products, onboarding of retail, MSME customers for loans, digital processing of loans, and identified government-sponsored schemes covered under the national portal have been mandated.

The RBI said digital banking products and services will generally mean those with designs nearly end-to-end within the digital life cycle with the initial customer acquisition/product delivery taking place digitally through self-service or assisted self-service.

The norms on setting up of DBU are effective immediately.

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Keywords: RBI, digital banking, regulation
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: RBI
Countries: India
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech


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