Microfinance major Ujjivan commences its small finance bank operations in India
India-listed microfinance major Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd has begun the process of restructuring its business to becoming a small finance bank, following the Reserve Bank of India’s approval of its bank licence in September 2015. The new banking entity Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (Ujjivan SFB) began operations with effect from February 1, 2017.
Ujjivan SFB has launched five pilot branches, in Bengaluru, that will provide the full range of bank service offerings. Over the next one month the bank will test its technology, channels, people and processes before rolling out its small finance bank services to cover 457 branches across 24 states.
“Ujjivan SFB would offer a no minimum balance savings bank account with the full range of banking services and benefits using the latest technology to the unserved and underserved customers. We will provide a whole host of benefits such as door-step and paperless banking, mobile, internet and phone banking, access to biometric ATMs and Aadhar enabled debit cards. These benefits are normally available only to premier customers of commercial banks,” says Samit Ghosh, managing director and CEO of Ujjivan SFB.
Ghosh, a veteran banker, founded Ujjivan in 2005 as a non-banking financial company (NBFC) with a mission to empower the low income groups in the country, who did not have access to the formal banking system. With a customer base of 3.5 million and having a high customer retention rate, Ujjivan was among a few social impact success stories in the microfinance sector, in India.