ICICI Bank launches Branch on Wheels in Odisha

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ICICI Bank today launched 'Branch on Wheels' in Odisha as part its financial inclusion plan to provide banking services in remote villages in the state which are devoid of banking facilities.

"The 'Branch on Wheels' is a first-of-its-kind initiative by any private sector bank in India. This is yet another step of the bank to expand its reach to the unbanked villages," ICICI Bank Executive Director Rajiv Sabharwal told reporters here.

The 'Branch on Wheels', inaugurated here by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Sabharwal, is a mobile branch with an ATM.

Patnaik said this unique initiative will go a long way to provide basic banking services to the remote unbanked villages in the state.

The branch would be operated on a van. It will be stationed at specific timings of the day in pre-identified, unbanked villages at specified locations, said Sabharwal.

It would be 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, he added.

Two ICICI Bank officials and a guard will manage the mobile branch. The nearest brick and mortar branch of the bank will act as the parent branch, routing all the cash and transactions for it.

Odisha is the third state where ICICI Bank has expanded its 'Branch on Wheels' network after Maharashtra in September 2013 and Chhatisgarh in February 2014.

Stating that the bank has a network of over 200 ATMs and 81 branches in Odisha, including four branches in unbanked villages, Sabharwal said about 40 new branches would be opened in the next three to four months.

The bank has nearly 800 rural branches, including 440 in the hitherto unbanked areas. In Odisha, the bank has opened 20 lakh basic savings accounts and has a network of 229 business correspondents taking banking services to around 1,400 villages.


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