ICICI Bank today announced that it will expand its retail network in the country by adding 450 new branches this fiscal.
Of these, the Bank has made 320 branches operational for customers and in the process, it has crossed the milestone of having 5,000 branches. The milestone branch was set up at Thane in Maharashtra.
With this, the Bank has a wide network of over 5,190 branches, extension counters and ATMs across the country. The Bank’s branch footprint now covers locations across the country from Leh in Jammu & Kashmir to Nagercoil in Tamil Nadu, from Naliya in Gujarat to Aizawl in Mizoram. Nearly half of the branches are in rural and semi-urban areas to facilitate financial inclusion in the country.
Mr. Anup Bagchi, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, said “We believe that a wide branch network continues to be important for retail banking. It helps deepen the relationship with the customer by serving them a wide range of products and offerings. More importantly, the branches offer consultation and guidance to customers for all kinds of banking requirements including mortgages, business banking, other loans and investments.
Our strategy is to set up branches wherever business activity emerges. In line with this strategy, we have chalked out a plan of setting up around 450 branches this fiscal in fresh catchments and micro-markets where economic activity is present.
Of these, we have already set up 320 branches. Another set of 130 branches will also be customer ready by end of this fiscal. In the course of this expansion, we have also crossed the important milestone of having set up our 5000th branch. The milestone also marks 25 years of the commencement of our first retail branch at Cenotaph Road in Chennai.
In the last few years, we have seen that the nature of business at branches has evolved. Customers are now more keen to seek advice and guidance from branches for complex transactions, loans and investments. For simple transactions, they prefer doing it over digital channels like internet and mobile banking.
Our new branches too have been aligned to meet these evolving requirements. They sport a contemporary look and feel to provide a superior experience to our customers. The design principle focuses on enhancing digital transactions by introducing 24x7 ‘e-lobby’ at many branches, simplifying customer navigation with demarcated spaces for transactions as well as elevating customer engagement levels with exclusive engagement ‘pods’ for loans and investments at prominent catchment areas.“
Most of the branches are operational from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm while some are open till 8 pm. The Bank also offers a slew of technology led innovations at its branches. The list includes:
• ‘Touch Banking’ branches: The Bank was the first to introduce these fully automated and digital branches, which are available 24x7, on all days. Over 100 such branches are available across 33 cities in the country.
• ‘Insta Banking’ self-service kiosks: It is a first of its kind, strategic self-servicing kiosk in the banking industry. It is designed to provide a superior banking experience to the Bank’s customers. These touch screen kiosks allow quick access to 55 transactions like pan update, email update, account portability, re-issue of debit card, generate bank statements, balance enquiry, transfer funds, NEFT/IMPS and many more. The Bank has a robust network of more than 1500 kiosks across its branches.
• Cash deposit and withdrawal machines: A pivotal part of the Bank’s endeavour to offer instantaneous service to customers, these kiosks enable account holders or their representatives to deposit cash in an ICICI Bank account in a completely automated manner with instant account credit, thereby providing convenience and ease of operations. This is in lieu of filling up pay-in-slip and manual cash deposit at the teller counter. These machines, also known as recyclers, circulate the deposited cash to be used for withdrawal purposes within the machines themselves, thus optimising the cash inflow and outflow automatically.
• ‘Insta Banking’ (available in iMobile): It aims to reduce the time spent in filling up physical paper challans for commonly used transactions in a bank branch. Using this app, customers can pre- process their desired transactions anytime, anywhere before walking to the branch and save their valuable time. Over 65% of financial transactions at the branches are initiated by customers by using the pre-staging of facilities done through ‘Insta Banking’.
The 5000th branch of the Bank is at Siddhachal Phase 7 in Thane. It offers a comprehensive range of deposits, savings and current accounts, home loans, loan against property, gold loans, auto loans, personal loans along with NRI services and an extensive locker facility.