Bhubaneswar: While Reserve Bank of India is harping on Digital Banking expansion in a big way, it has decided to include two more districts in Odisha for electronic banking.
Official sources said Ganjam and Sambalpur districts have been included in the expansion program of Digital Banking and Deepening of Digital Payments Ecosystem.
In fact newer technology paved the way for electronic banking popularly known as Digital Banking and the penetration of this new mode involving faceless transactions became quite common.
ATMs, cash dispensers, NEFT, RTGS, credit cards and debit cards etc. became terminologies which no longer needed explanation for a general customer.
Systems and procedures to regulate such transactions, Safety norms, consumer protection and grievance redressal mechanisms were put in place to address the downsides and also develop public trust.
While earlier, Cuttack and Balangir districts were included in Digital Banking Ecosystem, now Ganjam and Sambalpur has been selected for such an exercise, said sources in Department of Finance.
While the risks involved in Digital Banking transactions are very much real,but the overall benefits, the image of those long queues, hours of waiting, delayed remittances negate the whole thought of branch banking unless absolutely needed.
There is a clear realization now that digital banking is the way forward and accordingly Digital Banking expansion is being stressed now, officials say.
In fact more and more people are opting for Digital Banking and take for example, in Balangirtotal digital coverage is 99.99 Percent individuals for Savings Bank accounts is concerned.
So far digital coverage for business is concerned, 99.76 Percent Current Account opening has been made successful.
Similarly in Cuttack, Digital Coverage for Individuals in opening Savings Bank Accounts is 98.77 Percent and Digital Coverage for Business in opening Current Accounts is 98.4 Percent.
Looking at the successful digital operations, RBI has recently allowed expansion of digital banking operations in Ganjam and Sambalpur, said sources.
While in Ganjam, Lead Bank, Union Bank of India will work out the program of expanding and deepening Digital Payment Ecosystem, Punjab National Bank will do the job in Sambalpur.
In fact Government of India is harping on Financial Inclusion and expansion of Banking Infrastructure, however banks are seen reluctant in opening Brick and Mortar Bank Branches.
Odisha Government has been repeatedly harping on the fact that there are 6798 Gram Panchayats in the State, but only 1/3rd GPs have Brick and Mortar Branches.
Department of Finance has been actively pursuing for Physical Branches, however expansion of bank branches is tardy.
Under this backdrop, Digital Banking Ecosystem has come as a succor for the people, however poor internet facilities is coming as a major road block.
Accordingly the State Government is harping on expediting Bharat Net Program, which is being taken up for net connectivity in the state, said sources.