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Arundhati Bhattacharya, chief executive, Salesforce India, and former SBI chairman. Photo: Mint
Arundhati Bhattacharya, chief executive, Salesforce India, and former SBI chairman. Photo: Mint

‘Physical banks will not go away’

Arundhati Bhattacharya says in a post-covid world, workspaces will look different as more people will move to online modes of transaction

MUMBAI : Bank branches will continue to co-exist despite the rise in internet and mobile banking, but their relevance will gradually decline, said Arundhati Bhattacharya, chief executive, Salesforce India. Speaking at the Global Fintech Fest on Thursday, the former State Bank of India chairman said banks will have to identify their core strengths and devise a strategy for growth. “They could be asset-light and distribution-heavy, or they could lead with liabilities and be asset-light. It is not true that all banks will be similar. Banks will be different because they will concentrate on different niche items."

Bhattacharya said in a post-covid world, workspaces will look different as more people will move to online modes of transaction. “Physically branches will not disappear, but their importance will come down." “Nowhere am I saying that we are looking at a world where the workplaces will disappear altogether. It will shrink and become flexible. Today, you have a designated cubicles and maybe tomorrow there will be floors where you will have to book your cubicle if you are going to be in the office," said Bhattacharya.

Speaking at the same forum on Wednesday, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said only nine out of every 100 transactions happen in SBI branches, while the rest are done through alternative channels. Besides, transactions on ATMs, which used to comprise 55% of total transactions three years ago, has now declined to 30-32%.

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