The "Branch on Wheels" was inaugurated at Kolhapur in Maharashtra by state Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Rajiv Sabharwal, Executive Director of ICICI Bank.
The "Branch on Wheels" is a mobile branch with an ATM that offers basic banking products and services such as savings accounts, loans, cash deposit/withdrawal, account balance enquiries, statement printing and funds transfer/DD/PO collections, among others.
The mobile branch with an ATM will be operated at specific timings of the day in pre- identified, unbanked villages through a van that will be stationed at specified locations.
It is equipped with a GPS tracking system, laptops with 3G connections, LED TV, a safe, a printer, public announcement system, an UV Lamp that detects forged cheques, a note counting-cum-authentication machine that identifies fake currency notes and a unique low weight ATM.
Two ICICI Bank officials and a guard will manage the mobile branch with ATM.
The nearest branch of the Bank will act as the parent branch of the "Branch on Wheels", routing all the cash and transactions for it.
The "Branch on Wheels", which has been launched in Kolhapur, is mapped to the parent branch at Bazar Bhogaon, near Kolhapur. It will cover four unbanked villages namely Borgaon, Waloli, Katebhogaon and Warnul.
Speaking on the occasion, Chavan said, "It gives me immense pleasure to unveil ICICI Bank's first 'Branch on Wheels' in the country. I am certain that this initiative of launching a mobile branch with an ATM would go a long way to provide basic banking facilities to the unbanked villages in Maharashtra."
"Financial Inclusion is a key agenda of the government and it is very encouraging to see that ICICI Bank is playing a strong role in this area, " he said.
Rajiv Sabharwal said,"ICICI as a Group has always recognised the potential of rural India and the importance of inclusive growth. We have always tried to take a holistic approach to provide financial services in rural and remote areas."
"In line with this approach, we have already launched 308 Gramin branches across the country to provide basic banking services in unbanked villages and plan to scale it up to 500 this fiscal. Today's launch of 'Branch on Wheels' is yet another step of the Bank to expand its reach to the villages which are devoid of banking facilities," he added.
--IBNS (Posted on 05-09-2013)