Gangtok: Aiming for a greater presence in the rural market, the State Bank of India (SBI) is scouting for alternate channels.
“We are looking at alternate channels for having our presence deep into the rural market. We are looking at smart card-based banking through business correspondents,” SBI CGM (Bengal Circle) J K Sinha told visiting mediapersons taken for apprisal of the bank’s Sikkim network.
The bank, with the largest banking network, is currently undertaking trial for smart based banking in three states of Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Karnataka on a pilot basis.
“We are hoping to introdue the same in the West Bengal circle in the near future,” he added. Smart card based banking will be undertaken by business correspondents like NGOs and post offices who already have a presence in the locality.
This would help the bank to deliver banking services where a branch would not be viable and will help achieving the target of the government, he said.
The bank has succeded in getting 100% financial inclusion in South Andamans and east Sikkim and set a target in south Sikkim and Andaman & Nicobar by June 2008.
However, the expansion plans are not restricted to alternate business models and the bank proposes to add some 113 new branches across the circle, he said.