A relaxed environment, loud-yet-scintillating music and a befriending young staff serving youngsters...sounds like a hip-hop restaurant for youngsters to chill out? If yes, rethink.
Close on the heels of opening the country’s first branch for high net worth individuals – the Kohinoor Banjara Premium Banking Centre (named after the famed Kohinoor diamond discovered here) – requiring a minimum of Rs 1 crore to open an account, the State Bank of India (SBI) is set to launch a one-of-its kind branch for the youth in Hyderabad.
“SBI always wanted to attract the youth. Its technology is the best in India and probably the world. Still, traditionally, the youth is not adopting it. This is our general feeling. We want to project an image that SBI is for the youth too,” said K Shiv Kumar, deputy managing director, SBI.
The proposed yet-to-be-christened branch will have a corner serving piping hot coffee, complete with loud music while the young customer sips away his favourite bean brew. The banking products, however, will be almost the same as other SBI branches.
“We are trying to change everybody’s attitude. We have already recruited younger staff for the new branch. We are looking at a couple of suitable locations in Hyderabad, but are yet to zero in on one. We will be rolling it out in the next three months and depending on the response, we plan to replicate the same in other parts of the country in due course,” Kumar added.
He said he was expecting a business of Rs 50 crore during the first year of the branch's operations. "The target customers are young professionals up to 35 years of age," he added.
When quizzed about this new initiative, youngsters appeared positive.
Rohit PS (23), a student at Osmania University said, “It indeed appeals to me. If you go to a bank, you will see all old clerks. Banking is getting younger, this will help improve the knowledge of banking among the youth. Young people only operate ATMs, they don't know how to fill a pay-in slip or a DD form. This will be a good lure and will indirectly affect their awareness of banking services."
Added Priyanka Mantripagada, a young professional, "I want my job to be done quickly and efficiently. The employees’ efficiency should be given priority over the ambience and looks. No wonder, on Thursday's youngsters are preferring netbanking due to the numerous protocols.”
Launches cyber payment
SBI on Thursday launched cyber payment in Andhra Pradesh, a facility which enables the online payment of commercial taxes. It is the first bank in the country to launch such a product. After registering for free, the users can visit apcommercialtaxes.gov.in, e-file their returns and make the payment simultaneously through onlinesbi.com.
“We have requested the commercial taxes department to make this new mode of payment mandatory for high-value customers as 75 per cent of taxes are paid by them. Of the Rs 30,000 crore the department is expecting this year, about Rs 22,500 crore will move through this channel,” says Kumar.
According to Suresh Chanda, commissioner, commercial taxes (Andhra Pradesh), the department receives 300,000 returns every month and this new initiative would minimise the interface between the tax payers and tax collectors like them.
“Currently available through SBI, other banks are also planning to offer this service. We have already received permission from the Reserve Bank of India to rope in State Bank of Hyderabad and IDBI Bank as our partners,” he added.