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RBI releases Guidelines on Establishment of Digital Banking Units - (07 Apr 2022)


The Reserve Bank of India released the guidelines on “Establishment of Digital Banking Units (DBUs)”. This is in pursuance of an announcement, made in the Union Budget 2022-23 for setting up of 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) in 75 districts. These guidelines are applicable to all Domestic Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks, Payments Banks and Local Area Banks). A ‘Committee for establishment of Digital Banking Units (DBUs)’ was set-up by the Reserve Bank to outline a roadmap for establishment of DBUs. Based on the recommendations of the Committee, the guidelines on ‘Establishment of Digital Banking Units’ have been finalised.

In recent times, digital banking has emerged as the preferred banking service delivery channel in the country along with ‘brick and mortar’ banking outlets. Reserve Bank has been taking progressive measures to improve availability of digital infrastructure for banking services. In furtherance of this objective and as a part of efforts to accelerate and widen the reach of digital banking services, the concept of “Digital Banking Units” (DBUs) is being introduced by the Reserve Bank.

In addition to ensuring physical security of the infrastructure of the DBU, adequate safeguards for cyber security of the DBUs will have to be ensured by the banks. The establishment of DBUs should be part of the digital banking strategy of the bank. The operational governance and administrative structure of the DBUs will be aligned with that of the Digital Banking Segment of the bank. However, in order to accelerate digital banking initiatives, each DBU will be headed by a sufficiently senior and experienced executive of the bank, preferably Scale III or above for PSBs or equivalent grades for other banks who can be designated as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the DBU. There should be adequate digital mechanism to offer real time assistance and redress customer grievances arising from business and services offered by the DBUs directly or through Business Facilitators / Correspondents.


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