State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender with a loan book of ₹26.6 lakh crore, has accelerated the drive to digitise to cope with rapid changes in the banking sector. The mammoth size of its operation indeed making it an uphill task.

Digitisation of the two-centuries-old bank coincided with the government’s drive for cashless payments and financial inclusion. It is now set for a larger digital play with a five-year-old SuperApp, YONO — an acronym for ‘You Only Need One’.

Former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar, in his book The Custodian of Trust, has called the transition “a much more ambitious project than anything attempted by any bank”.

According to the bank, the number of customers using Internet banking and mobile banking (through YONO) stood at 97 million and 45 million, respectively, in December 2021. YONO, the integrated digital and lifestyle platform, witnessed more than 10 million average daily logins in October-December 2021. Around 29,000 digital savings accounts a day were opened through the app during the same quarter.

In UPI alone, SBI handled 8,179 million remitted transactions during the nine months of FY22. It remained the top remitter bank, recording the highest UPI transactions by volume. Its UPI user base stands at an astounding 175 million, one out of every 7th Indian. In terms of digital lending, the bank disbursed pre-approved personal loans worth ₹6,283 crore through YONO in the quarter ended December 2021. SBI also has the highest number of followers on Facebook and Twitter among banks globally.

India’s largest commercial bank in terms of assets, deposits, branches, customers, and employees completed 30 lakh home loans recently. The home loan portfolio has crossed the ₹5-lakh-crore milestone. As on December 31, 2021, the bank had a deposit base of over ₹38 lakh crore, witha a CASA (current account, savings account) ratio of 45.74% and advances of more than ₹28 lakh crore. It commands a market share of close to 36% and a little over 28% in home and auto loans, respectively. It also has the largest network of 22,253 branches and 64,216 ATM/cash deposit machines in India.

Recently, the bank re-launched the SBI Insta Saving Bank Account, an Aadhaar-based instant digital savings account that can be opened through the YONO app. All new account holders get personalised RuPay debit cards. The bank also launched a video KYC-based account opening feature on the app, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition technology.

YONO has now embarked on a journey towards the brick-and-mortar model from the digital platform. In July 2020, YONO branches opened in Vashi (Navi Mumbai), Bhopal and Gurugram on a pilot basis.

For farmers, SBI offers technology backed agricultural solutions with YONO Krishi. From sowing to harvesting to selling the produce, the platform addresses all. Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) on YONO Krishi is expected to benefit more than 75 lakh farmers having such accounts.

Recently, the state-owned bank joined hands with Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) to cater to the needs of small retailers by providing them digital payment and financing solutions. The bank has also tied up with Titan for contactless payment services through Titan Pay Watch.

“The scope and reach of SBI YONO will be expanded further. In business operations, the bank will leverage advanced analytics for deeper insights on internal data,” chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara said in the latest annual report.

The bank is also rolling out LITMAS (Litigation Management System) and a property portal. Going forward, its Stressed Assets Resolution Group (SARG) will be completely digitised. A new AI-based model has been developed for SME new to Bank (NTB) customers. In case of home loans, an end-to-end digitised Retail Loan Management System (RLMS) has already seen the processing time coming down significantly. The bank has also launched FX All and e-Forex trading platforms for customers.

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