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Digital bank units to be opened in 75 districts by July: IBA

New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) According to the budget announcement, digital bank units are likely to start in 75 districts of the country by July on the occasion of 75 years of independence of the country.

To facilitate operations of Digital Bank Units (DBUs), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued comprehensive guidelines last month.

The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) said in a statement that as per these RBI guidelines, DBUs of banks would be treated as bank centers and the provisions relating to commencement and winding up of business of each entity need to be kept separate.

According to the IBA, banks will also have the option of engaging digital business facilitators/business correspondents as per relevant norms for digital expansion of DBUs.

“All the public sector banks, 10 private sector banks and one small finance bank have already started the work of commissioning these units by July 2022,” the IBA said.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the budget for the financial year 2022-23, had said that 75 DBUs will be set up in 75 districts of the country on completion of 75 years of India’s independence. Its objective is to take the benefits of digital banking to every nook and corner of the country.

A committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Ajay Kumar Choudhary, Executive Director, Department of Financial Technology, RBI to prepare the blueprint for the formation of the DBU. The committee also included senior officials from RBI, select banks and IBA.

To assist the committee, a working group was formed under the chairmanship of Sunil Mehta, chief executive of IBA. This working group recommended the names of 75 districts representing all the states and union territories across the country.

RBI is continuously monitoring the pilot trial of this project. The emphasis is on digital usage, cyber security awareness and customer education on security measures.

As per RBI guidelines, each DBU will have to offer certain minimum digital bank products and services in terms of loans and deposits.

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