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Bank Marketing




1. The Financial System

2. Origin of The Word BANK
3. Definition of Bank and marketing
4. Finance and banking in India
5. Users of Banking Services
6. Meaning of Marketing
7. Evolution of the marketing concept
8. Marketing and Competition
9. Marketing Concepts – Its application to
10. Meaning of Bank Marketing
11. Market Research in Indian Banks
12. Increasing Importance of Marketing in Banking
13. Market Segmentation
14. Marketing Mix for Banking Services
15. Strategies for Segmentation
16. Marketing Mix for banking services
17. Strategies for effective bank marketing in India
18. Technology in Banking
19. What are customer services
20. Case study
21. Bank Marketing in the Indian Perceptive
22. Future of Bank Marketing
23. Conclusion
24. Refrences

The financial system consists of variety of institutions, markets and

instruments that are related in the manner shown in the below figure,
it provides the principal means by which saying are transformed into
investment. Given its role in the allocation of resources, the efficient
functioning of the financial system is of critical importance to a modern
economy. Financial manager negotiate loans from financial
institutions, raises resources in financial marked and invests surplus
funds in financial market. In very significant way he manages the
interface between the form and its financial environment.

Financial System placed a very important role in the development of a

country. Through Financial System, entire money or money equals
are channelized in such a way so that each sector of economy like
industry, agriculture and services can be developed rationally.
Financial sector development is the locomotive force for economic
development of a country.
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According to some economists the word ‘Bank’ has been derived from
the German word BANC which means a Joint Stock Firm while others
say that it has been derived from the Italian world ‘BANCO’ which
means a heap or mound.

There is still another group of people who believe that word bank has
been derived from the Greek work ‘BANQUE’ which means a bench.
In the olden days, Jews entered into money transactions sitting on
benches in a marked place. When a banker was not in a position to
meat his obligations, the on which he was carrying on the money
business was broken into pieces and the was taken as bankrupt. Thus
both the words Bank or bankrupt are said to have origin from the word

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According to Oxford English Dictionary, Bank is, “An establishment for

custody of money received from or on behalf of, its customers. Its
essential duty is the payment of the orders given on it by the
customers, its profit mainly from the investment of money left unused
by them”.

Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (Sec. 5(c)), has defined the banking
company as, “Banking Company means any company which
transacts business of banking in India”. According to Section 5B,
“banking means the accepting of deposit of money from the public for
the purpose of leading or investment, which are repayable on demand
or otherwise and are withdrawable by cheque, draft, order or

Different economists, banking professionals and authorities explained

their viewpoint regarding bank or commercial bank. It has been rightly
said by A.K. Basu that a general definition of a bank or banking is by
no means easy, as the concepts of banking differ from age to age,
and country to country.


India is a vast country, Before 1947, undivided India was equal to

Europe excluding Russia in its area. It is situated in south of Asia. In
spite of a part of Asia, it is separated from it. It is separated by
Himalayas in North India. India has vast oceans in South, East and
West. Due to its vastness it is also called sub continent. That vast
country has given different names in different times. In Vedic period, it
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was called ‘Arya-V-arat’. In Bir period and ancient period, it as called

Bharatvarash’. Perhaps due to fame of king Bharat, it was called
‘Bharatvarsh. Greek called it Indus on the name of river Sindh.
Iranians called it Hindu. Chinese travelers called it Tienchu and Yintu.
Ipsing called ‘Arya Desh’ and Brahmrashtra. Bible has called it Hoddu.
In medieval period, it was called ‘Hindustan’ and Hind. European
called it India. After Independence, it is return as Bharat Ganrajya or
Indian Republic in Indian Constitution.


The Role of marketing in the banking industry continues to change.

For many years the primary focus of bank marketing was public
relations. Then the focus shifted to advertising and sales promotion.
That was followed by focus on the development of a sales culture.

Although all the elements of the marketing concept – customer

satisfaction, profit integrated framework, and social responsibility – will
remain important, customer satisfaction must receive the greatest
emphasis in the years ahead.

The chief concerns of most bank executives still focus on legal and
regulatory issues, according to most surveys. Community banks are
particularly concerned with eliminating barriers that give unfair
advantages to financial services competitors, such as credit unions.
However, another concern pertains to technology: keeping nonblank
competitors out of the payment system.
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Bankers Identify Near-Team and Long Term Concerns

1991 2015
Maintaining profitability Service quality
Credit Portfolio Management Maintaining profitability
Service Quality Market / customer focus
Regional Economy Operations/systems/technology
Cost Management / Expense Credit portfolio management
reduction Productivity improvement
Declining Earnings/ more failures Investment to stay competitive
Market / customer focus Stock market value
Capital adequacy Asset/liability management
Stock market value Electronic Banking
Industry Overcapacity

When this gateway system was first proposed, access to the Internet
was very new and few banks had the resources and knowledge to set
up their own direct-access lines for customers. Customers have
shown a growing interest in online banking services, and banks have
responded by quickly putting in place proprietary sites on the World
Wide Web and offering PC banking.

Within the next five years, 93 percent of community bank executives

surveyed say they plan to offer telephone banking, and 79 percent
plan to offer PC banking.

When asked which technology holds the most potential for the future,
bank executives identified call centers first. As customers continue the
transition the transition into a high-tech world in which they want
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information and answers more quickly and accurately than ever

before, call centers offer the ideal bridge. With 24-hour access to
either automated information or live operators, customers do
everything from check their accounts to apply for a loan. Bank
executives also identified PC banking as having the most promise for
the future, followed by Interest access and broad function kiosks.


In view of the declining profitability and productivity of the banking

sector and extremely low rate of profit percentage, the determination
of the financial health of the system requires drastic remedial
measures not only to build up investor confidence but also to combat
competition from all over. It is time that the pros and cons of the
oncoming banking era are properly understood and advantage taken
of various opportunities. This will require an efficient marketing
approach to bank management in which target markets will be tackled
successfully along with effective satisfaction levels and in which the
usual basic elements – product, pricing, promotion and distribution will
be taken care of in a proper format of an efficiently working marketing

The nationalised banks must face competition from private banks,

non-banking financial institutions, foreign banks and others. The
competition is in the fields of deposits and credits, foreign trade,
consumer credit and miscellaneous banking activities. The
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competition will benefit customers and force the banking system to

raise its productivity, minimize expenses, and remain sensitive to
evolving issues. Narasimham Committee Reports while
recommending internal autonomy long with compliance with
prudential norms suggested rule-based credit policies, fiscal balance
and a gradual movement towards liberatlisation.

To deal with the competition from foreign banks, the Indian banks
should go in for diversification and extension of services as well as
expansion of products and business. Economic freedom and
innovative spirit have contributed greatly to the success of the market-
oriented financial sector in the Western countries. Directed credit and
investment has done just the opposite. Interventionism is not
necessarily bad provided it is associated with a committed leadership.
Indian financial sector had for more than four decades, neither full
economic freedom nor a well disciplined interventionism so that it cost
operational flexibility as well as functional autonomy both of which
were concerned with profitability performance and related factors.


Its application to Banking, When we apply marketing to the banking

industry, the bank marketing strategy can be said to include the
following –
i) A very clear definition of target customers.
ii) The development of a marketing mix to satisfy customers at a
profit for the bank.
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iii) Planning for each of the ‘source’ markets & each of the ‘use’
markets (A Bank needs to be doubly market – oriented – it
has to attract funds as well as were of funds & services.
iv) Organisation & Administration.


We define bank marketing as follows: “Bank marketing is the

aggregate of functions, directed at providing services to satisfy
customers’ financial (and other related) needs and wants, more
effectively and efficiently that the competitors keeping in view the
organizational objectives of the bank”. Bank marketing activity. This
aggregate of functions is the sum total of all individual activities
consisting of an integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and
satisfy customer needs. This means, without exception, that each
individual working in the bank is a marketing person who contributes
to the total satisfaction to customers and the bank should ultimately
develop customer orientation among all the personnel of the bank.
Different banks offer different benefits by offering various schemes
which can take care of the wants of the customers.

Marketing helps in achieving the organizational objectives of the bank.

Indian banks have duel organizational objective – commercial
objective to make profit and social objective which is a developmental
role, particularly in the rural area.
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Marketing concept is essentially about the following few thing which

contribute towards banks’ success:
1) The bank cannot exist without the customers.
2) The purpose of the bank is to create, win, and keep a customer.
3) The customer is and should be the central focus of everything
the banks does.
4) It is also a way of organizing the bank. The starting point for
organizational design should be the customer and the bank
should ensure that the services are performed and delivered in
the most effective way. Service facilities also should be
designed for customers’ convenience.
5) Ultimate aim of a bank is to deliver total satisfaction to the
6) Customer satisfaction is affected by the performance of all the
personal of the bank.

All the techniques and strategies of marketing are used so that

ultimately they induce the people to do business with a particular
bank. Marketing is an organizational philosophy. This philosophy
demands the satisfaction of customers needs as the pre-requisite for
the existence and survival of the bank. The first and most important
step in applying the marketing concept is to have a whole hearted
commitment to customer orientation by all the employees. Marketing
is an attitude of mind. This means that the central focus of all the
activities of a bank is customer. Marketing is not a separate function
for banks. The marketing function in Indian Bank is required to be
integrated with operation.
Bank Marketing

Marketing is much more than just advertising and promotion; it is a

basic part of total business operation. What is required for the bank is
the market orientation and customer consciousness among all the
personal of the bank. For developing marketing philosophy and
marketing culture, a bank may require a marketing coordinator or
integrator at the head office reporting directly to the Chief Executive
for effective coordination of different functions, such as marketed
research, training, public relations, advertising, and business
development, to ensure customer satisfaction. The Executive Director
is the most suitable person to do this coordination work effectively in
the Indian public sector banks, though ultimately the Chief Executive
is responsible for the total marketing function. Hence, the total
marketing function involves the following:

a) Market research i.e. identification of customer’s financial

needs and wants and forecasting and
researching future financial market
needs and competitors’ activities.
b) Product Development i.e. appropriate products to meet
consumers’ financial needs.
c) Pricing of the service i.e., promotional activities and
distribution system in accordance with
the guidelines and rules of the Reserve
Bank of India and at the same time
looking for opportunities to satisfy the
customers better.
d) Developing market i.e., marketing culture – among all the
customer-consciousness ‘Personnel’ of
the bank through training.
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Thus, it is important to recognize the fundamentally different functions

that bank marketing has to perform. Since the banks have to attract
deposits and attract users of funds and other services, marketing
problems are more complex in banks than in other commercial


After enquiring with all the public and 14 private sector banks whether
they had undertaken any market research studies. The following
board areas of market research were considered for the study:
(a) New service development,
(b) New service product acceptance,
(c) Research and development of existing financial service,
(d) Bank images study,
(e) Measuring bank’s advertising effectiveness,
(f) Measurement of market potentials,
(g) Market research of competitive service products,
(h) Customer’s opinion study,
(i) Customer profile study, and
(j) Market share analysis.

In response to the inquiry information was received from 17 banks.

Out of these banks, 14 are public sector banks and 3 are private
sector banks. Two nationalized banks and two private sector banks
informed that they have not conducted any markets research studies.
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Information regarding Bankwise Market Research Studies

Bank Title of the Market Remarks
Research Study
1. Allahabad Bank a. Survey on Customer Not formal
Service report
2. Bank of Baroda prepared.
b. Marketing of deposits and MP Ranade:
allied services to non- BMP Thesis.
residents customers
opinion (1958)
3. Canara Bank a. Marketing research study For internal use
for two new deposit only
schemes (1989)
4. Central Bank of a. Market survey of customer Conducted by
India services the students of
b. Marketing deposits BITS, Pilani.
(Customers) For internal use
only service
5. Indian Overseas a. Potential areas for future For internal use
Bank business expansion only
6. Oriental Bank of a. Study of customer service R Upendran
Commerce in OBC with special MBP Thesis
reference to metropolitan
branches (1989)
7. Punjab National a. Sample survey on For internal use
Bank customer’s responses only
(1987) For internal use
b. Sample survey on only
customer service (1988) Formal Report
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c. Study on deposit linked

housing loan scheme
8. Punjab and Sind a. Study on customer For internal use
Bank turnover (mail only
questionnaire based study
of customers who have
closed their accounts) J S Kalra:
(1989) BMP Thesis
b. Changing Profile of Punjab
and Sind Bank’s
Customers and their
expectorations, a survey
based study (1988)
9. State Bank of a. A survey on customer For internal use
Bikaner service, level of customer only
satisfaction and customer
expectations (1998)
10. Syndicate a. Evaluation Study on the For internal use
Bank quality of customer service only
b. Marketing of bank service K M Kanath
with special reference to BMP Thesis
branches in Bombay city
of Syndicate Bank-
customer service (1979)
11. Union Bank of a. Customer responses For internal use
India (Opinion) survey (1988) only
12. UCO Bank a. Customers’ opinion study For internal use
(1989) only
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13. United Bank of a. Report of the survey on For internal use

India customer opinion (1987) only
b. Improvement of customer K P Ramesh
service in a metropolitan Rao
branch (1979) BNP Thesis
14. Vijay Bank a. Report of the customer Formal Report
service survey (1988)
15. Karur Vysya a. Study on the image of the Undertaken by
Bank bank (1989) a Consultant

Most of these market research studies were conducted for internal

use and no formal reports were prepared. It is important to note the
subject or issue researched by the bank. The most important subject
for market research in terms of the number of studies conducted, is
the customer service / customer’ profile opinion studies. Few banks
have conducted even more than one customer service / opinion



The various other factors which have led to the increasing importance
of marketing in the banking industry are categorized as follows:

Government Initiatives
The Indian economy embarked on the process of economic reform
and various policy measures initiated by the government resulted in
the increasing competition in the banking industry, thereby
highlighting the importance of effective marketing. The Narasimhan
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Committee Report evidence of the Government’s desire to ‘re-

regulate’ the banking industry so as to encourage efficiency through
competition. The Government initiatives include:

Deregulation of Interest Rates

The bank may reduce their Minimum Lending Rates so as to attract
customers (individual and corporate). Such reduction in lending rates
reduce the spread between the deposit rates and lending rates, i.e.
the banks margins would decline and they would have to increase
their volumes or provide attractive services so as to maintain profits.
This calls for bank marketing.

Increasing Emphasis on Bank Profitability:

With the Narasimhan Committee Report, banks have been directed to
improve their efficiency, productivity and profitability. Banks are
required to be self-sufficient. In fact, the report has adopted the BIS
standards of capital adequacy (though in a phased manner).

Foreign Banks
Foreign banks offer stiff competition to the Indian Banks and with their
superior services and technology offer them a competitive advantage.
Thus Indian Banks have to effectively apply marketing concepts to
attract customers.

Entry of New Private Banks

In the early ‘90s new competition emerged in the form of new Private
Banks, who brought along with them a high technology-based banking
matching with International Standards and have made a significant
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dent in the banking business by capturing substantial share in the

profits of the banking industry.

Reduction of Statutory Liquidity Ratio:

With the Government’s aim of reducing the SLR to 25 percent, the
banks will have surplus funds for which they will have to attract users.

Social Environment
Increasing Urbanization, Education and Awareness: The higher
literacy level, migration to urban areas and higher awareness due to
the boom in the mass media have important implications for the retail
banker. He needs to be conscious of the fact the increasing proportion
of people are aware of financial service and are, therefore demanding
and expecting higher quality services.

Increasing Urbanization, Education and Awareness: The higher

literacy level, migration to urban areas and higher awareness due to
the boom in the mass media have important implications for the retail
banker. He needs to be conscious of the fact the increasing proportion
of people are aware of financial service and are, therefore demanding
and expecting higher quality services.

Decline in Traditional Indian Values (Borrowing as Taboo), Rising

Consumerism, Rise in the Percentage of Working Women.

Technology Development
Modernization of Technology has facilitated the introduction of new
banking services as to attract new customers. An example of this is
the ‘Automated Teller Machines’ or the facility of ‘Any Time Money’.
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Also in foreign countries, banks are experimenting with money

transmission at Point of sale, e.g., petrol station linked with banking

Credit is Easier to Obtain

Growing Importance of Non-Banking Financial Institutions: Fixed
Deposits being offered by the NBFC’s are very attractive for the
public, because of the wide gap of interest rates offered by banks on
term deposits and that offered by the NBCS’s. further, they offer a
variety of specialized services to their customers so as to attract and
retain them.

Disintermediation: The increasing role of capital markets in

mobilizing funds is reducing the importance of banks as
intermediaries. Companies are directly approaching the savers
through the capital markets. Mutual funds help in attracting the small
investors who do not want to take much risk.


When we apply marketing to the banking industry, the bank marketing
strategy can be said to include the following:
i. A very clear definition of target customers.
ii. The Development of marketing mix to satisfy customers at a
profit for the bank.
iii. Planning for each of the ‘source’ markets and each of the ‘user’
markets (A bank needs to be doubly market – oriented – its has
to attract funds as well as users of funds and services).
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iv. Organization and Administration.

Consumer Behavior and Segmentation

Need for segmentation
Philip Kotler has described the dilemma of the seller (especially, a
seller dealing with masses, e.g. banks) as follows:

“How the seller determines which buyer’s characteristics produce the

best partitioning of a particular market? The seller does not want to
treat all customers alike nor does he want to treat them all differently”.

Banks deal with individuals, group of persons and corporates, all of

whom have their likes and dislikes. No bank can afford to assess the
needs of each and every individual buyer (actual or potential).

Segmentation of the market into more or less homogenous groups, in

terms of their needs and expectations from the banking industry,
provides a solution to this problem.
This involves dividing the market into major market segments,
targeting one or more of this segments, and developing products and
marketing programs tailor-made for these segments.

In the first segmentation, the market is divided from a unitary whole, to

groups of buyers who might require separate products and marketing
mix. The marketer typically tries to identify different segments in the
market and develop profiles of resulting market segments.
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The second step is market targeting in which each segment’s

attractiveness is measured and a target segment is chosen based on
tits attractiveness.

The third step is product positioning which is the act of establishing a

viable competitive position of the firm and its offer in the target
segment chosen.

In the process of segmentation, the market can be divided into major

segments which are gross slices of the market, or into smaller
specially formed segments, otherwise known as niches. Niche
customers have a specific set of needs which the markerter tries to
address. While a market segment attracts several competitors, a
niche attracts fewer competitors and therefore, a company should
clearly define its target segment and devise strategies to target the
customer, so that it has a competitive advantage in the segment.

These concepts can be applied in personal banking by an Indian

Bank. Traditionally, Indian Banks have not had any conscious strategy
for selecting customers from the personal banking area, apart from
some banks which have a geographic concentration strategy such as
concentrating on a particular region or state. These banks will have to
segment the market on certain basis, and identify market segments or
niches which they want to cater to. For example, a bank like SBI may
not be able to cater high income groups (say, managers, professional,
NRIs, etc. who earn above Rs. 4,00,000 p.a. and who want a higher
quality of products / services and who are willing to pay for them), as
the services required by such a profile of customers are entirely
different from the kind of products / services SBI can offer.
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Initiation of Segmentation in India

Station Bank of India was the first Indian Bank to adopt the concept of
market segmentation. In 1972, it reorganized itself on the basis of
major market segments dividing customers on the basis of activity and
carved out 4 major market segments, viz. Commercial and
Institutional, Small Industries and Small Business Segment,
Agriculture, Personal and Services Banking. The objectives of this
scheme were:
• Deeper penetration and coverage of market by looking
• Adequate flexibility of organization to accommodate growth and
rapid change,
• Delegation of work for releasing senior management for more
futuristic tasks.

Criteria for Segmentation

Segmentation in a right fashion makes the ways for profitable
marketing. This helps policy planner in formulating and innovating the
policies and at the same time also simplifies the task of bank
professionals while formulating an innovating the strategic decisions.
The following criteria make possible rig segmentation.

An important criterion for market segmentation the economic system

in which we find agricultural sector, industrial sector, services sector,
household sector, institutional sector and rural sector requiring of
weightage while segmenting.
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Agricultural Sector: In the agricultural sector, there are four category

rise since the needs of all the categories cant’s be identical.

The mechanization of agriculture, the improved or scientific system of

activation, the help of nature, the magnitude of risk, the availability
infrastructural facilities influence the level of expectations vis-à-vis the
needs and requirements. The banking organization are supposed to
know and under stand the changing requirements of different
categories of farmers.

Industrial Sector: The banking organizations subserve the interests

of the industrial sector. The large-sized, small-sized co-operative and
tiny industries use the services of banks. The expectations of all the
categories cant’s be uniform.

The banking organizations are supposed to have an indepth

knowledge of the changing needs and requirements of the industrial
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Services sector: It is an important sector of the economy where the

banking organizations get profitable business. The two categories of
organizations such as profit-making and not-for-profit making are
found important in the very context.

The banking organizations need to identify the changing needs and

requirements of the services sector. With the frequent use of
information technologist and with the mounting pressure of inflation
and competition, we find a change in the hierarchy of needs.

Household Sector: This is also constitutes an important sector where

different income group have different needs and requirements. in
below figure we find the different segments of the household sector.
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Household Segment: The high income group, middle income group,

low income group, substance level group and marginal income group
have different hierarchy of need which influence the level of their
Gender Segment: In the gender segments, we find male and female
having different needs and requirements. The banking organizations
are supposed to identify the level expectations of both sexes.

Some of the women are housewives and therefore they have different
need and requirements whereas some of them are working ladies
having different needs and requirements.

In the profession segments, we find different categories of professions

an therefore we find a change in their needs and requirements.
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The technocrats, bureaucrats, corporate executives, intellects, white

and blue – collar employees have different needs and requirements
and therefore the banking organizations should know their

Some of the organizations are known as cultural organizations, some

of them are not for –profit making, some of them are philanthropic and
some of them are related to trade and commerce. The emerging
trends in the social transformation process determine the hierarchy of

Markets segmentation thus simplifies the task of understanding the

customers/prospects. The bank professional find it convenient to
formulate and innovate the marketing mix of world class which
simplify the process of excelling competition.

In the Indian perspective where we find agrarian economy contributing

substantially to the transformation of national economy, it is pertinent
that the banking organizations assign due weightage to the rural
sector of the economy where we find tremendous opportunities.
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The urbanization is likely to gain the momentum and villages, outskirts

of big towns and cities are to be developed on a priority basis. Almost
all the organizations are to get tremendous opportunities there. The
marketing resources if of innovative nature would make the ways for
capitalizing on the same profitably.


The formulation of marketing mix for the banking services is the prime
responsibility of the bank professional who based on their expertise
and excellence attempt to market the services and schemes

The bank professionals having world class excellence make possible

frequency in the innovation process which simplify their task of selling
more but spending less. The four submixes of the marketing mix, such
as the product mix, the promotion mix, the price mix and the place
mix, no doubt, are found significant even to the banking organizations
but in addition to the traditional combination of receipts, the marketing
experts have also been talking about some more mixes for getting the
best result. The “People” as a submix is now found getting a new
place in the management of marketing mix. It is right to mention that
the quality of people/employees serving an organization assumes a
place of outstanding significance. This requires a strong emphasis on
the development of personally-committed, value-based, efficient
employees who contribute substantially to the process of making the
efforts cost effective. In addition, we also find some of the marketing
experts talking about a new mix, i.e. physical appearance. In the
corporate world, the personal care dimension thus becomes
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important. The employees re supposed to be well dressed, smart and

active. Besides, we also find emphasis on “Process” which gravitates
our attention on the way of offering the services. It is only not
sufficient that you promise quality services. It is much more impact
generating that your promises reach to the ultimate users without any
distortion. The banking organizations, of late, face a number of
challenges and the organizations assigning an overriding priority to
the formulation processes get a success. The formulation of
marketing mix is just like the combination of ingredients, spices in the
cooking process.

THE PRODUCT MIX: The banks primarily deal in services and

therefore, the formulation of product mix is required to be in the face
of changing business environmental conditions. Of course the public
sector commercial banks have launched a number of polices and
programmers for the development of backward regions and welfare of
the weaker sections of the society but at the same it is also right to
mention that their development-oriented welfare programmes are not
optimal to the national socio-economic requirements. The changing
psychology, the increasing expectations, the rising income, the
changing lifestyles, the increasing domination of foreign banks and
the changing needs and requirements of customers at large make it
essential that they innovate their service mix and make them of world
class. Against this background, we find it significant that the banking
organizations minify, magnify combine and modify their service mix.

It is essential that ever product is measured up to the accepted

technical standards. This is due to the fact that no consumer would
buy a product which contains technical faults. Technical perfection in
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service is meant prompt delivery, quick disposal, presentation of right

facts and figures, right filing proper documentation or so. If computers
starts disobeying the command and the customers get wrong facts,
the use of technology would be a minus point, and you don’t have any
excuse for your faults.

PRODUCT PORTFOLIO: The bank professional while formulating the

product mix need to assign due weightage to the product portfolio. By
the concept product portfolio, emphasis is on including the different
types of services/ schemes found at the different stages of the product
life cycle. The portfolio denotes a combination or an assortment of
different types of products generating more or less in proportion to
their demand. The quality of product portfolio determines the
magnitude of success. It is excellence of bank professionals that help
them in having a sound product portfolio.
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We find the composition of a family sound, if members of all the age

groups are given due place. Like this, the composition or blending of a
service mix is considered to be sound, if well established and likely to
be profitable schemes are included in the mix. It is against this
background that a study and analysis of product portfolio is found
significant. The bank professionals are supposed to perform the
responsibility of composing the same. A sound product portfolio is
essential but its process of constitution is difficult. An organization with
a sound product portfolio gets a conducive environment and
successes in increasing the sensitivity of marketing decisions. The
banking organizations need a sound product portfolio and the bank
professionals bear the responsibility of getting it done suitably and
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If the banks rely solely on their established services and schemes, the
multidimensional problems would crop up in the long run because
when the well established services/schemes would start saturating or
generating losses, the commercial viability of banks would of course,
be questioned. The banking organizations relying substantially on a
profitable scheme and ding nothing for new scheme likely to get a
profitable market in the future is to face is to face a crisis like situation.
It is in this context, that we find designing of a sound product portfolio
essential to an organsition. We can’t deny that the product portfolio of
the foreign banks is found sound since they keep their eyes moving.
The innovation, diffusion, adoption and elimination processes are
taken due care. The public sector commercial banks need to innovate
their service and this makes a strong advocacy in favour of analyzing
the product portfolio.


In the formulation of product mix for the banking organization, the
designing of package is found important. In this context, we find
packaging decision related to the formulation of a mix of different
schemes and services. Developing an attractive package required
professional excellence and therefore, the bank professionals are
required to be aware of the different key issues influencing the
formulation process. What the package should basically be or do for
the particular target. We re aware of the fact that a number of
schemes and services are included in the service mix of bank product
and all the services or schemes can’t be preferred by all. Of course
we find some of the public sector commercial banks now evincing
stage. This makes it essential that a bank manager thinks in favour of
developing a package. The importance of packaging can’t be
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underestimated considering the functions it performs and the effects

which we witness in the process of attracting and satisfying the
customers. In addition to other aspects, it is also pertinent that a bank
manager is familiar with the package developed by the leading
competitive banks since this would help them in innovating the
package. It is an important component of the product mix and a bank
manager while formulating or designing a package needs to assign
due weightage to the formulation process. While developing a
package, it is essential that the packages offered are efficacious in
establishing an edge over the packages of competitors. Thus needs
and preferences of the target market in addition to the packages
offered by the competitors need due weightage while designing a

In the designing process the bank professionals can make a package,

an ideal combination of both, the core and peripheral services. The
main thing in the process is to make it profitable, convenient and
productive to the customers so that they prefer to transact with the
bank. For the bank professional, it is an important persuasive efforts
that helps in increasing the business even without developing or
innovating the services or schemes.

PRODUCTR DEVELOPEMNT: In almost all the services, the

development of a product is an ongoing process. The banking
organizations also need to develop new services and schemes. We
can’t deny that the development of product specially in the banking
services is found diffcult since they don’t have any discretion, however
they can do it, of course in a limited way. By minifying, combining,
modifying and magnifying, the banking organizations can give to the
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services or scheme a new look. The regulations of the Reserve Bank

of India, no doubt stand as a barrier but professionally sound
marketers make it possible even without violating the rules and
regulations. The banking organizations in general have been found
developing product by including some new properties or features.
Generally we find two process for the development of product. The
first process is found proactive since the needs of the target market
are anticipated and highlighted. The second process is reactive and in
this context the banks respond to the expressed needs of the target.

PROACTIVE PROCESS: In the pro-active process, we find product to

market needs. This makes it essential that the branch managers are
aware of the changing needs of the target market. There are six
stages for the development of the product, such as idea generation,
screening of the concept, assessing of market potential, analyzing the
cost, test marketing and final commercial launching. The bank
professionals have to be careful at all the stages so that whatever the
services or schemes are developed are found instrumental in getting
a positive response. The customers and competitors help bank
professional substantially in generating a new idea. The screening of
the product concept focuses on the process of narrowing down the list
of the ideas generated to a small number of concepts.

The assessment of market potential is the third stage in which we find

scanning of the market potentials at the apex level. The branch
managers can assess the potential sin their command areas.

The fourth stage draws our attention on analyzing the cost on the
basis of a cost-benefit analysis and the fifth stage before launching is
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test marketing which is found instrumental in minimizing the risk

element. And finally, we find commercial launching. The Reserve
Bank of India is also required to make the regulations liberal so that
the pubic sector commercial banks get an opportunity to make their
services or schemes internationally competitive. The unfair practices,
illegitimate steps should be checked but fair practice should
essentially be promoted to make the business environment

In the formulation of marketing mix the bank professionals are also
supposed to blend the promotion mix in which different components of
promotion such as advertising, publicity, sales promotion, word-of-
mouth promotion, personal selling and telemarketing are given due
weightage. The different components of promotion help bank
professionals in promotion the banking business.

Advertising: Like other organizations, the banking organizations also

us this component of the promotion mix with the motto of informing,
sensing and persuading the customers. While advertising, it is
essential that we know about the key decision making areas so that
its instrumentality helps bank organization both at micro and macro

Finalising the Budget: This is related to the formulation of a budget

for advertisement. The bank professionals, senior executives and
even the police planners are found involved in the process. The
formulation of a sound budget is essential to remove the financial
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constraint in the process. The business of a bank determines the

scale of advertisement budget.

Selecting a Suitable vehicle: There are a number of devices to

advertise, such as broadcast media, telecast media and the print
media. In the face of budgetary provisions, we need to select a
suitable vehicle. The latest developments in the print technology have
made print media effective. The messages, appeals can be presented
in a very effective way.

Making Possible creativity: The advertising professionals bear the

responsibility of making the appeals, slogans, messages more
creative. The banking organizations should seek the cooperation of
leading advertising professionals for that very purpose.

Instrumentality of branch managers: At micro level, a branch

manager bears the responsibility of advertising locally in his / her
command area so that the messages, appeals reach to the target
customers of the command area. Of course we find a budget for
advertisement at the apex level but the business of a particular branch
is considerably influenced by the local advertisements. If we talk
about the cause-related marketing, it is the instrumentality of a branch
manager that makes possible the identification of local events,
moments and make advertisements condition-oriented.

Public Relations: Almost all the organization need to develop and

strengthen the public relations activities to promote their business. We
find this component of the promotion mix effective even in the banking
organizations. We can’t deny that in the banking services, the
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effectiveness of public relations is found of high magnitude. It is in this

context that we find a bit difference in the designing of the mix of
promoting the banking services. Of course in the consumer goods
manufacturing industries, we find advertisements occupying a place of
outstanding significance but when we talk about the service
generating organizations in general and the banking organizations in
particular, we find public relations and personal selling bearing high
degree of importance. It is not meant that the banking organizations
are not required to advertise but it is meant that the bank executives
unlike the executives of other consumer goods manufacturing
organizations focus on public relations and personal.

Personal Selling: The personal selling is found instrumental in

promoting the banking business. It is just a process of communication
in which an individual exercise his/her personal potentials, tact, skill
and ability to influence the impulse buying of the customers. Since we
get in immediate feed back, the personal selling activities energies the
process of communication very effectively.

The personal selling in an art of persuasion. It is a highly distinctive

form of promoting sale. In personal selling, we find inter-personal or
two-way communication that makes the ways for a feed back. There
is no doubt in it that the goods or services are found half sold when
the outstanding properties are well told. This are of telling and selling
is known as personal selling in which an individual based on his/her
expertise attempts to transform the prospects into customers.

Dynamics of Personals Selling

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The dynamics of personal selling are found instrumental in activating

the selling activities. Sales preparations are considered most crucial
for the actual sales. Pre-sale activities and post-sale services can’t be
left neglected to improve the marketing activities. The customers may
be interested in knowing the main features of the services, how a
particular service would help them, rationale behind the technical
services and proof in regard to its uses. The pre-sale activities would
bring the positive results, if preparations are adequate.

Some of the customers are found highly aware of the developments,

they are found well informed. On the other hand, we also find other
category of customers who are in dark. Here, the branch managers
are expected to match the level of awareness of customers. As for
instance, Mr. A goes up the matrix but Mr. B has not enough time for
the branch managers. The branch managers are supposed to prepare
a synopsis of their sales talk. Not surprisingly the highly aware
customers are found in apposition to make independent decisions and
know all about. While selling to the less aware customers, the
managers should stress on the main features of the services and the
expected benefits of these services.
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Sales Promotion: It is natural that like other organisations, the

banking organizations also think in favour of promotional incentives
both to the bankers as well as the customers. The banking
organizations make provisions for incentives to the bankers and call
this bakers’ promotion. Like this, the incentives offered to the
customers are known as customers’ promotion. There are a number
of tools generally used in the different categories of organizations in
the face of the nature of goods and services sold by them. The gift,
contests, fairs and shows, discount and commission, entertainment
and traveling plans for bankers, additional allowances, low interest
financing and retalitary are to mention a few found instrumental in
promoting the banking business.

As and when the banking organizations offer new services and

schemes, the tools of sales promotion are required to be innovated.
This is with the motto of stimulating the new and old customers. An
important thing in the very context is the changing needs and
requirements of customers/prospects. The bank professionals bean
outstanding task of studying the competitors’ strategies which would
he them in initiating the process of innovation. Here it is important to
mention the promotional incentives to the customers would focus on
decisions related to the selection of a tool. There are a number of
considerations to streamline the process. The bank professionals are
supposed to study the market conditions and make necessary
suggestions, specially regarding the incentives.

It is a blending process and bank professional have to be sure the

whatever the provisions, they make are fulfilled on priority basis. More
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incentives more efficiency or a vice-versa conditions more efficiency,

more-incentives motivate bankers substantially.

Word-of-Mouth Promotion: Much communication about the banking

services actually take place by word-of-mouth information which is
also known as word-of-mouth promotion. In the banking industry, we
find use of different components of promotion and in the context it is
essential that we also talk about word-of-mouth communication which
makes the process of influencing the prospects effective by
sensitizing the word-of-mouth recommendations. The persons
engaged in communication, the hidden salesforce who play an
incremental role in increasing the demand. An important question
regarding the word-of-mouth communication is related to its intensity
of sensitizing the persuasion process.

The problem before the bank professionals is to identify the persons

to be included in the list of word-of-mouth promoters. It is supposed
that a bank manager is well aware of the social composition of his/her
command area. The oral publicity plays an important role in
eliminating the negative comments and improving the services. This
helps you know the feed back which may simplify the task of
improving the quality of services.

It is important that a branch manager has an in-depth knowledge of

his/ her command area and a list of word-of-mouth promoters is
prepared. Organizing dinner, offering to them a gift and seeking their
cooperation are the process to use this tool of promotion. A satisfied
group of customers is considered to be the most successful hidden
promoters. A branch manager showing his/her excellence in
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improving the quality of services in his/ her command area,

establishing an edge over the services of the competing banks,
promoting LGD marketing (lunch, golf, dinner marketing) successds in
instrumentalising the word-of-mouth promotion. It is against this
background that this component of the promotion mix is found getting
due place.

In this component of the promotion mix, we find two important

considerations, first the bank professionals are required to make it
sure that the promised services reach to the ultimate users and
second, the word-of-mouth promoters are offered small but new
incentives which have not been offered by their competitors. The list
of word-of-mouth promoters is to be based on a survey result or on
the personal experiences of a branch manager. A revision in the list is
made possible as and when circumstances necessitate so. The
innovative peripheral services offered by the banks are well publicized
and the word-of-mouth promoters focus on the same intelligently.


In the formulation of product mix, the pricing decisions occupy a place

of outstanding significance. The pricing decisions or the decisions
related to interest and fee or commission charged by banks are found
instrumental in motivating or influencing the target market. The
Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banking Association are
concerned with the regulations. The rate of interest is regulated by the
RBI and other charges are controlled by the Indian Banking
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Association. To be more specific in the Indian setting, we find this

component of the marketing mix significant because the banking
organizations are also supposed to subserve the interests of weaker
sections and the backward regions. The public sector commercial
banks in particular are supposed to play developmental role with
societal approach. It is natural that this specific role of the public
sector commercial banks complicate the problem of pricing.

Pricing policy of a bank is considered important for raising the number

of customers vis-à-vis the accretion of deposits. Of course, there are a
number of factors to influence the process but it is also right to
mention that the key role in the entire process is played by the
Reserve Bank of India. A National Consumer Survey Conducted by
the L.H. Associates reveals that the quality of Consumer service was
one of the three top issues and the consumers ranked the quality of
their bank relationships as even more important than the fees charged
for the services. To be more specific when we find a number of
domestic and foreign banks working in the Indian economy, the
Reserve Bank of India bears the responsibility of making the business
environment conductive. The non-banking organizations and foreign
banks have been found attracting customers by offering to them a
number of incentives. The potential customers or investors frame their
investment plans in the face of pricing decisions made by the banking
organizations. While formulating the pricing strategies, the banks have
also to take the value satisfaction variable into consideration. The
value and satisfaction can’t be quantified in terms of money since it
differs from person to person, keeping in view the level of satisfaction
of a particular segment, the banks have to frame their pricing
strategies. The policy makers are required to be sure that the service
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offered by them are providing satisfaction to the customers

concerned. The pricing decisions may be to bit liberal, if the potential
customers are found shifting to the non-banking investments. In this
context, it is pertinent that pricing is used as motivational tool.

The banking organizations are required to frame two-fold strategies.

First, the strategy is concerned with interest and fee charged and
second, the strategy is related to the interest paid. Since both the
strategies throw a vice-versa impact, it is pertinent that banks attempt
to establish a correlation between the two. It is essential that both the
buyers as well as the sellers have a feeling of winning as shown in

The banks have to take the value satisfaction variable into

consideration while designing the pricing strategies. McIver and
Naylor opine that a marketing manager has to regard price as a
variable to be traded off against product quality and promotion rather
that as an absolute where the lowest price is not desirable.
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The RBI has to be more liberal so that the public sector commercial
banks make decisions in the face of changing business conditions.
There is no doubt in it that the commercial banks bear the
responsibility of energizing the social marketing, they are also
supposed to bear the social costs. It is also right that the foreign
banks have been found making the business environment more
competitive. These emerging trends necessitate a close look on the
pricing problem. The policy makers find it difficult to bring a change
since the regulations of the RBI make things more critical. The
expenses are not regulated by the RBI and the banking organizations
are forced to increase the budgetary provisions. The sources of
revenue are regulated which complicates the task of bank
professionals. This makes it essential that the Reserve Bank of India,
the Government of India and the banking organizations thing over this
complicated issue with a new vision.


This component of the marketing mix is related to the offering of
services. The two important decision making areas are making
available the promised services to the ultimate users and selecting a
suitable place for bank branches.

The selection of a suitable place for the establishment of a branch is

significant with the viewpoint of making the place accessible and in
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addition, the safety and security provisions are also found important.
The banking organizations are not free to open a branch since the
Reserve Bank of India regulates the subject of branch expansion but
so far as the management of branch is concerned, the branch
managers have option to select a place which is convenient to both
the parties, such as the users and the bankers. In the Indian
perspective, the protection to the bank’s assets and safety to the
users and bankers need due weightage. The vulnerable area or
regions need adequate provisions to make the branch safe. The
management of office is also found significant with the viewpoint of
making the services attractive. The furnishing, civic amenities and
parking facilities can’t be overlooked.

Another important decision making area is related to the offering of

services. This draws our attention on the behavioural profile of
bankers. The bankers in general and the front-line-staff in particular
bear the responsibility of making available the services-promised to
the ultimate users without any distortion often a gap is found
generated by front-line-staff that makes an invasion on the image of
bank. The bank professionals or a branch manager is required to be
sure that whatever the promise have been made regarding the quality
of services are not distorted. The RBI and the different public sector
commercial banks are required to manage the distribution process
intelligently and professionally. Thus, the place mix is found to be an
important decision making area which requires due attention, both at
macro and micro levels. If the banking organizations sell the promises
it is essential that the end users get the same without any distortion.
Bank Marketing

Sophisticated technologies, no doubt, inject life and strength to our
efficiency but the instrumentality of sophisticated technologies start
turning sour if the human resources are not managed in a right
fashion. Generation of efficiency is substantially influenced by the
quality of human resources. It is against this background that a
majority of the management experts make a strong advocacy in
favour of developing quality people and late, the people management
has been include dint he marketing mix of organizations is general
and the service generating organizations in particular.

Not only the public sector commercial banks but almost all the public
sector organization and albeit other government departments, of late,
have been facing the problem of quality people resulting into
inefficiency, deceleration in the rate of overall productivity and
profitability or so. The front-line staff are rough and indecent, the
branch mangers are helpless and even the bankers have been found
involved in the unfair practices. The public sector commercial banks
need to assign on overriding priority to the development of quality
people majority of the management of the experts have realized the
significance of quality people in the development of an organization
and the boardrooms are also found changing their attitudes. The first
task before the banking organisatoins at the apex level is to overhaul
the recruitment processes. While fixing criteria for selection, they need
to assign due weightge to the ethical values. The education and
training facilities are required to be innovated. The process of
identification and inculcation need to be managed carefully.
Bank Marketing

The foreign banks and the private sector commercial banks reward for
efficiency and at the same time also demotivate the inefficient
bankers. This helps them in improving the efficiency of even the
inefficient people. The development of human resources makes the
ways for the formation of human capital. Incentives, of course, inject
efficiency and the organizations offering more incentives succeed in
motivating the people.

• Having better and cost-effective control over operations.

• Enriching the job content of employees at all level (by reducing
the drudgery of mundane operations and increasing the
analytical content of their work).
• Improving the quality of decision-making, a must in the fast
changing environment.

Thus, the key focus areas in which information technology can be

employed are:

• Automated processing of back-office operations like processing

of forms, policy customerization and product selection, pricing
and preparation of quotations, etc.
• Computer assisted telephone and intelligent voice processing
for customer call handling, new business marketing or handling
after office hours enquires.
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• Image processing for documents storage and retrieval, folder

management (or all documents related to a customer), and
workflow management for the movement of documents with the
• Artificial intelligence and expert systems for complex decision-
making like the appraisal of the creditworthiness of clients,
designing of innovative instruments and strategy formulation.
• Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) for the
systematic use of information which would facilitate the cross-
selling of products.
• Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for company-wise
communication and inter-connection of systems for the benefit
of both the bank’s MIS and the customer.
• Office Management Systems for accounting and administrative

All the above systems should be “client-based systems” and not “line-
of-business systems” since these would provide better marketing and
service to clients, facilitate cross-selling and customerization of
schemes and hence, a better packaging for the product. This would
help Indian banks “thing customer”.

All these would, thus, help in the effective management of time.

Recourse to mechanized systems like ledger posting machine, cash
counting machine and cheque sorting machine would result in
reduction in the number of tedious and routine jobs to be handled
manually saving time for the people to focus on the customer.
Bank Marketing


Introduction: Since the inception of globalization in India, banking
sector has undergone various changes. Introduction of asset
classification and prudential accounting norms, deregulation of
interest rate and opening up of the financial sector made Indian
banking sector competitive. Encouragement to foreign banks and
private sector banks increased competition for all operators in banking
sector. The protective regime by the authority is over. Indian banks
are exposed to global competition. Even competition within the
country has increased manifold. The almost monopoly position
enjoyed by the public sector banks of India is no more existence.
Under this development Indian banks needs to reinvent the marketing
strategy for growth.

The spread of the bank in Indian rural and semi urban areas are
highly different from state to state and region to region. Many states
have fewer networks of bank branches in the rural areas. Under such
scenario different marketing approach for different areas is required. If
the bank follows the same marketing strategy for all areas the
success would be difficult.

Marketing approach for urban area: The urban areas of India are
developed taking into account all parameters of development. The
level of income of the people, the literacy rate and level of education
as well as awareness of the people about rights of the customer are
higher than that of the rural and even semi urban areas. Thus here for
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effective bank marketing different approach is necessary than that of

rural areas.

The marketing strategy should be based on customer service and the

use of modern technology in banking. Under competitive environment
for the success of the business, better customers and retaining
existing customers is possible only with customer service. Use of
modern technology in urban areas will also go long way for marketing
of banking services. Technology based service like credit card, debit
card, ATM, anywhere banking, internet banking, and mobile banking
are necessary for urban areas. This is because it enables customers
to perform banking transactions at their convenience. Business hours
of a bank are also an important factor for urban banking. India many
private sector banks, especially co-operative banks and now even
some of the public sector banks have also started this practice and
they find it successful. To attract business and wholesale customers,
banks need to adopt technology based product and service which is
suitable to such class of customer. For instance RTGS, collection of
out station cheques, issuing the cheques at par at any branch in the
country, cash management facility, DD butiques etc. are necessary.

Another strategy for effective marketing is bank need to change the

focus from the traditional banking to universal banking. In urban areas
the extend and variety of economic activities demands that one
institution should meet all financial need of a customer. Under such an
expectation of people universal banking would prove successful
approach for bank marketing. The term ‘universal banking’ in general
refers to the combination of commercial banking and investment
banking, i.e., issuing, underwriting, investing and trading in securities.
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A universal bank is a supermarket for financial products. Under one

roof, corporate can get loans and avail of other handy services, while
individuals can bank and borrow.

For increasing customer base and retention of the existing cliental

universal banking approach is effective strategy. Universal banking
offers number of benefits to customers as well s the banks. For
instance, economies of scale arise in multi-product firms because
costs of offering various activities by different units are greater than
the costs when they are offered together.

Universal banking with focus on retail customers made the ICICI

banks to acquire first position in Indian banking sector. Universal
banking approach is beneficial to bank also. For banks economies of
scale relate to cost-savings through sharing of overheads and
improving technology by jointly providing generically similar groups of
services. Since universal banking basically provides financial services
the inputs like manpower, infrastructure is more or less same.
Necessary changes in the inputs can be made easily. For instance
training can be given to staff for providing different financial services
to customers. Moreover the most important benefit for the bank is that
it is useful to increase the fee based income of the bank. Financial
sector passing from lower interest rate regime at present and added
to this the process of disintermediation is affecting the main and the
traditional source of income for the banks i.e. interest income. All
banks are striving hard to increase their fee based income to improve
their bottom line. Universal banking can help the banks here
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Marketing approach for rural areas: Prior to nationalization of banks

in 1969, the rural areas were virtually without banking facility. At that
time unorganized sector was dominating in the rural finance. After
nationalization of banks in 1969 branches of the banks were started
gradually in the rural areas also. To day more than 50 percent
branches of the banks are found in the rural areas. However, the
distribution of banks in the rural areas is highly uneven. Here banks
have to face competition with the unorganized sector. Moreover the
rural banking is highly regularized activity by the Government in India.
Lending as well as interest rate is regularized. Thus under such
environment different marketing approach is required. For effective
rural marketing product development, promotion and communication
is important. All these parameters banks have to balance with socio-
economic factors prevailing in the rural areas. Bank need to innovate
product that could attract the depositors. Various loan schemes that
are suitable for them for getting funds at right time and also they find
convenient to repay. For instance traditional saving bank account may
be given fixed deposit concept that once a particular limit of balance is
reached the funds from saving account is automatically coveted into
fixed deposit attracting higher interest rate.

Banks need t develop some scheme which would attract them to bank
with. For loans and advances products which are suitable to tarmers,
small traders, small scale agro based rural industries are already in
existence. Banks need to see the how value addition can be mad to
these existing scheme. Banks also needs to tie up with Non
Government Organisations and various Self Help Group for different
types of loans, micro financing etc. This will help the bank for building
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good image and reputation in the rural areas over and above the
business. Another potential area which can be explored by the banks
in the rural area is retail banking. With the steady increase in the
income of the rural people there is ample scope for retail loan
products like housing loans and loan for consumer durables.

Marketing through customer services in rural areas is different from

that of urban areas. Here personalized banking is the success mantra
for banks. Because of high level of illiteracy people prefer to
undertake banking transaction themselves. They hesitate to depend
upon technology based service. For effective marketing in rural areas
bank should have staff with right soft skill like concern for customers’
problem, positive attitude, good communication and negotiation skill.
At every level of dealing with the customer bank need to educate
them for banking activates and process. To attract the customers from
the unorganized sector most important factor is to provide. The
borrower the required finance of right amount at right time.

Banking sector has undergone various changes after the new
economics policy based on privatization, globalization and
liberalization adopted by Government of India. Introduction of asset
classification and prudential accounting norms, deregulation of
interest rate and opening up of the financial sector made Indian
Banking sector competitive. Encouragement to foreign banks and
private sector banks increased competition for all operators in banking
sector. Banks in India prior to adoption of new economic policy was
protected by Government and was having assured market due to
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almost state monopoly in banking sector. However, under the new

environment, Indian banks needs to reinvent the marketing strategy
for growth. In India geographical development is not even throughout
the country, there are full-fledged urban areas covering the
metropolitan cities and other big cities. On the other hand there are
underdeveloped rural areas too. For effective bank marketing different
approach for different areas is required. In urban areas customer
services is of paramount importances as the level of literacy and
therefore awareness of the people is more. Also technology based
marketing would have higher degree of success due to typical urban
life style of the people. Universal banking providing all financial
service under one roof will have more success in urban areas. In the
rural areas for bank marketing personalized banking will go in long
way. Also banks need to offer innovative tailor made deposits and
advances products to suit individual customers. Delivery of advances
of right amount of right amount and at right time is essential in rural

Technology is proving to be a vital tool in enhancing banking activities
around the globe. The advent of ATMs, and Internet Banking are key
pointers to this. The role of an information system can in no way be
underestimated. The expanding role of information systems have
aided banks achieving Anytime, Anywhere and Anyhow banking. The
improvement in telecommunication infrastructure is redefining the was
banking is being conducted.
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Information Technology made its presence felt in banks in India a few

decades ago. However, it is still being used as a support systems.
Most of the software packages used in bank work on stand-alone
systems and are not integrated.

Banks in India need to have an integrated systems that takes care of

all the front-office and back-office operations. However, Indian banks
should not be content with the integration of their activities. Banks in
advanced countries are planning to have global electronic banking.
Electronic banking or e-Banking is a generic name for a range of
technologies that allow the electronic exchange of information related
to banking transactions.

As Electronic Networks become more robust and widespread, they

are beginning to attract the attention of retail banks – like ATMs and
phone banking. However they tend to be viewed merely as one more
cheap distribution channel. Accordingly banks are replicating the
branch banking experience online, even to the extent of creating 3D
virtual branches for their customers to navigate through. Such an
approach is characteristic of early attempts to use new technology

Indian Banks Cash in on Delivery Channels

From the staid over-the-counter delivery mode to ATMs, tele banking,
Net banking, and now mobile banking the number of delivery channel
deployed by banks has increased by leaps and bounds. Srikanth R.P.
& Chitra Padmanabhan look at the evolution and impact of various
delivery channels in the Indian banking scenario and forecast which
delivery channel could be the next killer app for banking players.
Bank Marketing

While today each and every bank touts ‘The customer is King’ mantra,
it was a quite a different story not so long ago. Customers patronizing
PSU banks were greeted with the typical ‘babu’ culture, where getting
even a cheque encashed used to take ages. Customers had to adjust
their schedule to the bank and very rarely was it the other way
around. A person in a city like Bombay usually had to wait for a
weekend to deposit a cheque, because by the time he reached home,
the bank would have closed. Today, while the timings of banks have
not changed drastically – banks have become more customer –
friendly. Now power has shifted into the hand of the customer.


Traditionally, banking players relied extensively on their reach to
effectively put emerging banks out of competition. This forced new
banks develop strategies, that could help them reach out to end-
customers cost effectively. The solution came in the from of a delivery
channel known as Automated Teller Machines or ATMs. And when
new private banks started installing ATMs across the length and
breadth of the country, customers started flocking in droves. A case in
point is ICICI Bank. During the liberalization of the banking sector,
ICICI Bank which did not have a huge national network, realized that it
could use IT to enhance its value-added offerings.

Says O.P. Srivastava, head of the retail channel infrastructure group

at ICICI Bank, “When the banking sector was liberalized we knew that
to get a lead over the well entrenched PSU banks, we had to take the
help of delivery channels like ATMs. This was the only way to counter
the reach of national players. “ICICI Bank is the most aggressive
Bank Marketing

deployer of ATMs and has seen its base surge from 125 ATMs in
January 2000 to 1,200 ATMs today. Such has been the impact of
ATMs that ICICI Bank’s customer base has grown from two million to
five million in the last two years. Srivastava attributes this increase to
the increase in ATM outlets.

HDFC Bank, is the other big player from the banking industry which
has aggressively used ATMs to its advantage. Says Mudit Saxena,
vice-president for retail marketing and head of Net Banking at HDFC
Bank, “The average per-day transaction at an HDFC Bank ATM is
350-400, with some ATMs recoding as many as 700 transactions per
day”. Other tech savvy banks like UTI Bank and ABN Amro Bank
have also become extremely aggressive in installing ATMs.

In the case of UTI Bank, the ATMs have added a fillip to the bank’s
customer base. Says V K Ramani, president for IT at UTI Bank, “Form
the first year of ATM installation, we have seen a surge in our
customer base. Currently, we have 647 ATMs servicing a base of 1.3
million customers. Over 90 percent of cash withdrawals are done
through ATMs. The number of ATM transactions have also increased
from one million in September 2001 to over 2.5 million in September
2002.” With growth figures like this, its no wonder that every branch
manager wants an ATM installed in his area of operations.

Alok Shende, Industry manager for IT practice at Frost & Sullivan,

summarieses the evolution of the Indian banking industry perfectly
when he says, “Banks followed two broad approaches when adopting
technology. The first approach was evolutionary. Banking players who
had large brick and mortar legacy particularly the public sector banks,
Bank Marketing

kept the banking channels intact and automated the bottleneck points.
This approach was adopted by around 80 percent of the industry.
However, some banks adopted a revolutionary approach and
changed the banking scenario altogether. State Bank of India is a
good example of the evolutionary approach, whereas HDFC Bank and
ICICI Bank, are good examples of the revolutionary approach. “Some
banks have gone a step ahead and share their ATMs with other
banks. For instance, ABN Amro Bank has a private ATM sharing
agreement with UTI Bank.

Banks are also developing new strategies to leverage their ATM

outlets. For instance, rather than set up a branch in every suburb,
ICICI Bank has hit upon a ratio of 8 ATMs to one branch office, thus
effectively reaching out to a large customer base, at a substantially
lower cost.

ABN Amro launched Royalties, India’s first banking rewards

programme. In the programme, the customer gets rewarded every
time he uses any of the bank’s electronic access channels. If the
customer bites the bait, it not only reduces the work load, but also
translates into huge cost savings.

As PSU banks gear up to win back their customers through the

aggressive deployment of ATMs, the already vibrant ATM market has
got a further boost. In India, ATM manufacturers like NCR and HMA
Diebold are extremely bullish, as India is the fastest growing market
for ATMs currently. India has close to 7,500 ATMs and analysts
predict the market to grow at a rate of 60-70 percent year-on-year.
Bank Marketing

Looking at the boom in ATMs NCR has decided to invest $6 million to

set up its ATM manufacturing plant in India.

Says Lars Nyberg, chairman and chief executive officer of NCR, “India
is undoubtedly the hottest market for ATMs today. Our decision to
manufacturer in India is to accelerate supply to the local market.
Initially, the manufacturing facility in Bangalore will have a capacity of
produce 8,000-10,000 ATMs per year. “The potential of the Indian
market has prompted NCR to design at ATM specifically for the Indian

Total cost advantage

While ATMs do help banks to attract customers, there is also one
more critical aspect to consider – the immense cost savings from
which a bank can benefit due to a transaction taking place over an
ATM vis-à-vis a branch. Typically, it costs a bank close to Rs. 50 per
transaction if conducted in a branch. The same if done an ATM costs
about Rs. 15. A look at the volume of ATM transactions conducted
reflects the level of success of this delivery channel.

Internet Banking
The other important delivery channel, from a bank’s perspective &
Internet banking. The adoption of Internet banking by the bank’s
customers is important since the costs per transaction are even lower
than those of an ATM. A net-based transaction costs the bank only
around Rs. 4. Thus, banks are trying to get customers to switch over
to this mode of banking registered users for Internet banking in India
at over two million currently.
Bank Marketing

It represent a significant opportunity for banks. In addition, as a

delivery channel, Internet banking does not require physical
infrastructure, thus saving on prohibitive real estate costs.

Private banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, UTI Bank and ABN Amro
Bank have seen a steady surge in the number of users registered for
Internet banking does not require physical infrastructure, thus saving
on prohibitive real estate costs.

Most banks today have facilities to enable internet banking customers

to pay insurance premiums and utility bills over the Net. Though
Internet banking as a concept has not caught the fancy of a majority
of customers as yet-even the small percentage that does use it,
makes a difference to the overall cost. Almost all leading banks in
India are hoping that just as ATMs saw a period of inaction before
they were accepted by Indian masses, Internet banking too would be
adopted once customers are comfortable with the technology. For
instance, in 1998 India had just 500 ATMs today it has close to 7,500.

While Internet banking is a potential and powerful delivery channel, it
has failed to make a significant impact due to a variety of reasons.
RBI in its report, ‘Trend and progress of Banking in India, 2001-02,
says Internet banking has failed to take off due to a combination of
psychological, technological and socio-economic factors. Further, the
report states that additional hurdles relating to legal and infrastructural
problems have also affected growth.
Bank Marketing

Although the government has made considerable progress in initiating

a trust environment, with some Public Certification Authorities (PCA)
already licensed to operate, the adoption of trust technology is still a
daunting factor for many users. What needs to be developed is a
simple way of integrating trust into online banking services.

Says Shende, “The compelling restraint for the user is the fear of
security breaches. As long as the perceived notion that the Internet is
not a safe place to conduct financial transactions prevails, large scale
adoption will be challenging.” In addition, the low penetration of PCs
and access to the Internet are crucial issues which act as roadblocks
in the adoption of Internet banking.

What’s M-Banking?
M-Banking allows a customer to request for account balance, cheque
books, cheque status, demand drafts, and banker’s cheques as well
as stop payments, make fixed deposits enquiry and transfer bills
online. HDFC customers, for instance, can pay their Max Touch and
BPL Mobile both provide cellular services – Bombay State Electricity
Supply, and Maharashtra State Electricity Board bills. Says Shyamlal
Saxena, 33, Vice President (Liabilities Product Management), HDFC:
“WE are, in a sense, content providers of banking information.”

Is it Better?
M-banking is no different from Net Banking, in fact it has many
limitation. You still cannot transfer fund from one bank to another and,
given the high air-time charges, it works out much more expensive
Bank Marketing

than Net Banking. And for the mobile phone to access a site, the
contents must be in Wireless Markup Language.

Once the mobile users’ population grows, access rates will fall,
allowing customers to use more air-time. By then, the Reserve Bank
of India would also have put its own gateway in place to do online
what it does today on paper.

M-banking uses two kinds of communication technologies. One is

WAP (Wireless application Protocal) and the other is SMS (Short
Messaging Services). WAP is more user-friendly, as it allows
download of graphic information. SMS, in contrast, allows text-only
access. But as the time taken to download text is much les compared
to graphics, SMS is cheaper to use.

Future Delivery Channels

Among all the delivery channels used by banks today, ATMs remain
the most successful, followed by telephone banking and Internet
banking. But the biggest potential could lie in mobile banking. With
cellphone tariffs falling and increased bandwidth, the potential for
banking player to tap this channel is enormous. Says Raman, “The
future delivery channel will have various mobile portals using
technologies such as GRPS. The customer would prefer to do
banking transactions not only anytime, anywhere, but also through
any device. With the current rate of evolution in the wireless industry,
the mobile channel is poised to become the defacto banking channel
within the next three years.”

One more important factor to consider in the evolution of delivery

Bank Marketing

channels is the requirement of a multi-channel architecture which

should support all future delivery channels, while also seamlessly
integrating with existing delivery channels. This is the reason why a
majority of banks still have not launched Internet banking as a feature,
since most do not have backend integration. Effectively, this means
that if a person holding an account with the bank wants to apply for a
loan, he would have to enter the same details already disclosed
earlier to the bank. This is where players like HDFC Bank, Citibank or
ICICI Bank hold an edge, as they have an end-to-end integrated
system already in place. This gives them the ability to cross-sell their
products, based on the customer profile they have with them.

one more delivery channel which will increase in the future is the
deployment of call centres. For instance, looking at the cost
effectiveness of call centres, ICICI Bank has commissioned the
country's biggest call centre in the banking sector (1,100 seats) in
Hyderabad. This is to be followed by a 600-seat call centre in

As a delivery channel gains ground, it can be used to sell products of

other vendors too. For example, the SBI ATM at CST railway station
in Mumbai dispenses season tickets too. Analysts believe that as
banks discover the marketing power of ATMs, one would see a trend
where ATMs would be used to deliver products of other vendors as
well. ICICI Bank has gone one step further by allowing devotees of
Tirupati to offer payments to the temple at Tirupati temple through
their ATM.

This could be the future of ATMs, where more non-cash transactions

Bank Marketing

will be done. Some banks are even toying with the idea of selling
movie tickets through ATMs. Going forward, as the volume of non-
cash transactions increase, one can see a trend where banks
maintain kiosks instead of ATMs, as there might not be a need for
all the features of an ATM.

Says Chopra of ABN Amro, "The next five years will see a marked
shift, wherein customers will show a preference for non- branch
delivery channels. Also, the large number of customer calls will also
necessitate use the of toll free numbers.”

Irrespective of the delivery channel, one thing is clear-it's boom time

for customers, as banks try a variety of options to lure them

Who knows, the next time you go to deposit your cheque, you just
might fill in 'Virtual' in the space reserved for 'Branch’.


The level of income, expectations, the rate of literacy, the geographic

and demographic considerations, the rural or urban orientation, the
changes in economic systems the frequent use of, technologies are
some of the key factors governing the development plan of an
organisation. To be more specific in a welfare country like ours, the
public sector commercial banks are supposed to playa decisive role in
fuelling the processes of socio-economic emancipation. This makes it
clear that the banking organisation need a new vision, a new
Bank Marketing

approach and an innovative strategy. They are supposed to bring

about greater mobility in the financial resources to cater to the
changing socio-economic requirements. Willingly or unwillingly, they
have also to bear the social costs by advancing credit facilities to the
weaker sections and the vulnerable regions. The foreign banks and a
few of the private sector commercial banks have been found making
sincere efforts to improve the quality of their services. The customers
in general appreciate the functional style and service mix of foreign
banks. This makes a strong advocacy favour of practising marketing
principles in the public sector commercial banks.

The nationalisation of the Reserve Bank of India is a landmark in the

development of Indian banking system which in a true sense paved
avenues for qualitative-cum quantitative improvements. Acquisition of
extensive powers of supervision and control by the Reserve Bank of
India under the Banking Regulations 1949 opened new vistas for the
expansion of banking facilities. The structure of public sector bank
was further strengthened in 1959. To curb concentration of economic
power and promote a judicious use of the financial resources for the
economic development activities, the banking system was regulated
and supervised by the RBI subsequently in 1969 the Government
acquired a direct control over a substantial segment of the banking
system signifying its commitment to reshape the banking system so
as to meet progressively and serve better the needs of the
development of economy in conformity with the changing national
policy and objective. The fruitfu11 results of nationalisation of 14
commercial banks in 1969 encouraged. government to nationalise
more commercial banks in 1980. These developments necessitated a
fundamental change in the functional responsibilities of the public
Bank Marketing

sector commercial banks. Here it is pertinent to mention that

nationalisation was with the motto of improving the quality of services
but the public sector commercial banks started disappointing the
masses. Of late, the quality of services is so poor that customers in
general are found dissatisfied. This makes it essential that the
Reserve Bank of India and the policy makers of the public sector
commercial banks think in favour of conceptualising modern
marketing principles which would bring a radical change in the
process of quality upgradation.

The first task before the public sector commercial banks is to

formulate the marketing mix which suits the national socio-economic
requirements. They need to synchronise the core and peripheral
services in such a way that product attractiveness is increased
substantially. To be more specific the peripheral services need
frequent innovation, since this would be helpful in excelling competi-
tion. The personal selling and public relations activities need an
intensive care. It is pertinent to mention that the leading foreign banks
have been found promoting telemarketing and the public sector
commercial banks need to make it possible. Since we have world
class communication technologies, the task is easier. The word-of-
mouth promotion also needs due care and for that we need to
improve the quality of services vis-à-vis the cooperation of opinion
leaders. The Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banking Asso-
ciation need an attitudinal change. The boardrooms also need to
change their attitudes. The gap between the services-promised and
services-offered is required to be bridged over. This requires
professional excellence. The professionals need to make possible a
fair synchronisation of performance-orientation and employee
Bank Marketing

orientation. This is not possible unless the banking regulations are

made liberal. The quality of people/employees serving the banking
organizations needs an overriding priority. The bankers need to know
about the behavioural management. The front-line-staff need empathy
in their behaviour. This requires intensive training facilities. The
domination of trade unions is required to be minimised. The
contractual job system needs due attention. The bank professionals
need to assign due weightage to their physical properties. They are
supposed to look smart, active and attractive. Thus we need multi-
dimensional changes which make a strong advocacy in favour of
implementing the innovative marketing principles.

In view of the above, it is right to mention that in the face of new

perception of quality developed by the foreign and private sector
commercial banks, the public sector commercial banks have no option
but to improve the quality of services. The marketing principles bear
the efficacy of initiating qualitative improvements. It is against this
background that we go through the problem of bank marketing. Of late
the foreign banks have been found promoting the use of sophisticated
information technologies. This makes it essential that we realise
gravity of the situation and make possible a rational use of
technologies which is not to aggravate the problem of retrenchment.
The marketing principles would be helpful in making an assault on the
multi-dimensional problems. Of course, we find good auguries
because the policy makers have been found exploring ways for imple-
menting the marketing principles but till now, the efforts are at the very
nascent stage. It is high time that the public sector commercial banks
conceptualise innovative marketing for bringing the banking system
on the rail.
Bank Marketing

The first thing is that the future of bank marketing is gonna be

fabulous. If you are thinking to go for field than you must...You can
study the charts how it rose since last 5 years and you will he
impressed. In past bank were not in competition with each other in
India but now they are and thats where bank marketing is coming
up...eg. In Ahmedabad ICICI rose by 70% in terms of advancing loans
to local public...Sales guys are doing very well.,This is going to rise
until 80% of Indians are not having credit cards.. Compare the
banking to developed countries and you will find bank marketing in
India to be great.

The bank of the future has to be essentially a marketing organisation

that also sells banking products. New distribution channels are being
used; more & more banks are outsourcing services like disbursement
and servicing of consumer loans, Credit card business. Direct Selling
Agents (DSAs) of various Banks go out and sell their products. They
make house calls to get the application form filled in properly and also
take your passport-sized photo. Home banking has already become
common, where you ~an order a draft or cash over phone/internet and
have it delivered horn. ICICI bank was the first among the new private
banks to launch its net banking service, called Infinity. It allows the
user to access account information over a secure line, request cheque
books and stop payment, and even transfer funds between ICICI
Bank accounts. Citibank has been offering net banking to its Suvidha
program to customers.

Products like debit cards, flexi deposits, ATM cards, personal loans
including consumer loans, housing loans and vehicle loans have been
Bank Marketing

introduced by a number of banks.

Corporates are also deriving benefit from the increased variety of

products and competition among the banks. Certificates of deposit,
Commercial papers, non-convertible Debentures (NCDs) that can be
traded in the secondary market are gaining popularity. Recently,
market has also seen major developments in treasury advisory
services. With the introduction of Rupee floating rates for deposits as
well as advances, products like interest rate swaps and forward rate
agreements for foreign exchange, risk management products like
forward contract, option contract, currency swap are offered by almost
every authorised dealer bank in the market. The list is growing.

Public Sector Banks like SBI have also started focusing on this area.
SBI plans to open 100 new branches called Personal Banking
Branches (PBB) this year. The PBBs will also market SBI's entire
spectrum of loan products: housing loans, car loans, personal loans,
consumer durable loans, education loans, loans against share,
financing against gold.

The bank of the future has to be essentially a marketing organisation

that also sells banking products. New distribution channels are being
used; more & more banks are outsourcing services. ICICI bank was
the first among the new private banks to launch its net banking
service, called Infinity.

Products like debit cards, flexi deposits, ATM cards, personal loans
including consumer loans, housing loans and vehicle loans have been
introduced by a number of banks.
Bank Marketing

Public Sector Banks like SBI have also started focusing on this area.
SBI plans to open 100 new branches called Personal Banking
Branches (PBB) this year. The PBBs will also market SBI's entire
spectrum of loan products: housing loans, car loans, personal loans,
consumer durable loans, education loans, loans against share,
financing against gold.

Bank Marketing