Is phygital banking the way forward? Here’s what bankers say

Even though there is a surge in digital banking, a large number of people still prefer banking in branches, according to the bankers

Banks should make efforts in educating customers about various aspects of digital banking so that they can conveniently use these channels, bankers said

Even as there is a surge in adoption of digital banking, physical branches will continue to be relevant as a large percentage of customers are more comfortable doing transactions at branches, according to bankers.

Banks should make efforts in educating customers about various aspects of digital banking so that they can conveniently use these channels, said the bankers.

“I think branches, as a mode or a channel, will not be totally discounted. There is still a significant population who will be more comfortable in one-to-one dealings rather than only digital. Therefore, this world of physical plus digital or phygital will be the way forward,” State Bank of India Managing Director Ashwini K. Tiwari said in a virtual summit organised by ET BFSI.

City Union Bank Managing Director and CEO N Kamakodi said that though the older generations are much comfortable with the manual banking channel, many of them are now trying to use the digital channel also.

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“Around 90 percent of the banking transactions in India have now started moving into the non-branch channel such as internet banking, mobile banking or ATM. The number of transactions happening at the branches are in single digit,” Kamakodi said.

Jana Small Finance Bank Managing Director and CEO Ajay Kanwal said that according to a World Bank survey, a majority of customers trust a bank more if they can see its branches.

“So, I think (the chances of bank) branches coming down to zero are less,” Kanwal said, adding that the role of branches would change in the future.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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