Union Bank of India – The Technology Bank


The customer being the King in any business applies to banking in India too. To provide the customer service in the competitive environment the Banks look to the innovation for their rescue. Technology being offspring of the innovation, technology aided products rule today’s banking space. The Indian median age being 27, against China’s 37 shows the increase in gen-Y population, which is an advantage to India. This young tech-savvy population and the increase in smart phones, increase in internet connectivity, increase in mobile connectivity combined with the digital infrastructure enhanced by the Govt. of India’s Digital India initiatives results in new technology aided banking products.

Union Bank of India, Serving the nation since 1919 though 96 years old, understands the requirements of the youngsters in addition to other customers. Bank has developed technology enabled Digital Banking products in addition to her traditional banking products for the customers to shoulder on Bank.

Acquiring Customers using Digital Products:

  • Union Selfie is a mobile based SB account opening application which makes the account opening process as easy, convenient and comfortable for the prospective customer and Union Bank of India is the first PSB to launch this.


  • Online account opening: Bank makes the SB account opening for the prospect as simple & convenient through internet.


  • Tabulous Banking: Union Bank is the 1st PSB to launch this tablet based Savings Bank account opening under its initiative for ease of account opening.


  • E-KYC: Bank uses e-KYC for opening SB account based on Aadhar number using biometric authentication.

Mobile based Products:

  • Digi Purse : Union Bank is the 1st PSB after SBI to introduce this mobile wallet application to the customers and non-customers. Thiswallet is for bill payments, recharges, shopping or even to send money. Simply money can be added from your debit card, internet banking and IMPS into Digi Purse wallet to get started. One app for all utility payments, DTH, mobile recharge, post-paid bills, gas bills etc., Payments from one wallet to another, one wallet to other bank account and instant money transfer through IMPS. DigiPurse wallet has a virtual Visa card which enables users to transact on any website for ecommerce transaction. This virtual visa card in a wallet is the 1st in the Industry.


  • M Passbook (Mobile passbook): Digital passbook feature shall be enabled for Bank’s customer to view his / her account statement through mobile. The M Passbook shall be available at all mobile app store viz., android, ios, blackberry , windows etc. Customer has to simply download the M Passbook and start operating it. He/she can retrieve statements of all his/ her accounts on his/ her mobile for any period.


  • Mobile Banking: Union Bank is the 1st PSB to launch mobile banking product, UMOBILE- a milestone in banking field- provides the customers a secure and convenient means of banking and commerce from anywhere anytime. Customers can check their account balances, take a mini- statement, transfer money to Union Bank accounts, other banks, make temple donation, KVS fee payments, stop cheques, know cheque status, know branch/ATM locations and even request bank for cheque books, all this on press of button on mobile. The services are available both on SMS and GPRS. UMobile is a secured payment channel since the customer does not compromise with information like the debit card number or pin. USSD based mobile banking is also available for the customers.


  • Call centre: The Call Centre ,being one of the delivery channels, will offer banking facilities through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) as well as through a human interface by connecting the customer to the Call Centre executive. Calls can be taken by the IVR in 7 Regional languages (Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarathi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu) besides Hindi and English. The IVR will provide certain banking services e.g. Account Information, Current Balance, last five transactions etc to those customers who have registered with a PIN, without requiring them to speak to an agent. The IVR also facilitates the customer in hot listing their debit cards, seeding their Aadhar number, Stop payment of cheque etc. without speaking to the customer care executive. At any point of time during the call, the caller can switch to an agent for any information on Banks products and services, for placing any service requests or to lodge any complaint.


  • SMS Based Value Added Services: Value added services like getting balance outstanding of the account through SMS on making a miss call, Blocking the debit card, ATM locator, Branch locator based on SMS sent, Enabling/ disabling the internet banking as optional through SMS sent from the registered mobile number are the various Value added services.


Web based Products:

  • Internet Banking: Individual customers (Retail) possessing ATM cum debit card may create internet banking user id and passwords through our Self User Creation module on Bank’s website. This is a very convenient, easy, and quick method. Union Bank is the 1st Bank to introduce this Self User Creation. Now this facility is extended to  the individual customers, who are not having ATM card also. In case of corporate customer facilities like account statement, fund transfer, salary upload, Bulk NEFT/ RTGS, etc.,


  • Online Loan application: Bank has put in use online loan applications to make the application process for the prospects as easy in case of Retail, Agriculture and MSE advances.

Card based Products:

  • Debit Card: Bank issues domestic as well as international debit cards with 4 variants ie Classic, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Bank also launched Business Debit Card, to meet the higher cash withdrawal and spending limit requirements of the business establishments. Union Bank is the 1st Bank to launch Rupay debit card as a co-branded card through its RRB, Kasi Gomti Gramin Bank. Bank also issues Rupay Platinum Debit cards.


  • Credit Card: Bank issues personalized Vis credit cards as Classic, Silver, Gold and Platinum with different spending limits. Bank also introduced credit card against term deposits with Bank (Usecure Credit card) and credit card for the HNIs (Signature Credit Card).


  • Gift Card: Union Bank Gift cards give the recipients the flexibility to make purchases of their choice at their favorite store.


  • Payroll Card: Bank issues Payroll Card which is a stored-value card offered by some companies to their employees as an alternative to payroll checks or direct deposit. Payroll cards are similar to debit cards and can be used to make purchases or withdraw cash at ATMs. Payroll card or disbursement card is generally used by the corporate customers/large firms to give to their employees who go on tour for payment of incentives to staff, wages to workers etc.



  • IRCTC Union Bank Prepaid card: Union Bank in association with IRCTC, issues IRCTC Union Bank Prepaid Card, which is as available both as physical and virtual cards. Union Bank is the 1st Bank to launch this card.


Payment Infrastructure:

        Creation of the payment infrastructure is important to acquire the transactions. The Bank provides following payment infrastructure.


  • Point of Sale: PoS or Swipe Machine to Merchant Establishments (ME) to carry out the sale of goods or services to customers in a cashless environment. Union Bank is the 1st bank to get approval from RBI for Cash @ PoS (Union Instant Cash) and it was launched to facilitate the withdrawal of cash from Bank’s PoS upto Rs1,000/- per day by the card holders of the Bank.


  • ATM: Union Bank ATM card holder can perform banking transactions round the clock. Additionally, Union Bank ATMs accept all VISA / Master / Rupay / EMV Debit/Credit Cards. Bank’s ATMs allows Debit Card holders to perform different functions like Cash Withdrawal, Balance Enquiry, Mini Statement, Change of PIN, Transfer of funds to other Union Bank accounts linked to the card, Registration for mobile banking, Payment of utility bills, Request for Cheque books and Account Statements, Inter-Bank Card to Card fund transfer, NEFT and IMPS, Mutual Fund Payments, Aadhar Seeding, Pay taxes, and many more. Hence the ATM is called as Sampurna ATM.


  • Talking ATM : Union Bank of India’s Accessible and Talking ATM is one such example of technology innovation and careful consideration in bringing financial independence to persons with disabilities.  Bank’s Talking ATM solution has set a benchmark on accessible banking in India and provided financial access to blind persons in getting cash on their own anytime. Talking ATM also provides greater banking usability for the low vision, illiterate and aged population.

    On June 6th, 2012, Bank launched a “Truly Accessible Talking ATM” at Blind People’s Association, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad.  The advent of Bank’s Truly Accessible ATM made persons with disabilities independent in respect of personal financial matters. It provides complete accessibility to a wheelchair as well as to a visually challenged ATM user.


“The efforts of Union Bank of India in taking this step forward which will impact the banking industry and how it views accessibility and the lives of persons with disabilities”. – Dr. Sam Taraporevala, Director, XRCVC and Head, Dept. of Sociology, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. (Dr. Taraporevala is advocating for Talking ATMs in India since 2009.  He visited Bank’s Talking ATM site on June 9, 2012).
“I was very impressed indeed by your ‘Talking’ ATM and can certify that I undertook a number of operations successfully.” – Kevin Carey, Chair, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), UK. (On 23 April 2013 Mr. Carey visited Bank’s Talking ATM situated at our bank’s head office building)

Recognitions: Union Bank of India’s “Truly Accessible Bilingual ATM“ which uses TTS technology and has many innovative features is recognized by the Indian Bank’s Association (IBA) as “MODEL TALKING ATM” which other banks can follow and replicate.  IBA circulated Union Bank of India’s Talking ATM workflow in February 2013.

Computer Society of India (CSI) announced  “National Awards for Excellence in IT” to Union Bank of India for Bank’s Talking ATM project as winner under the “Business Collaboration Solutions : Banking & Finance” category.

Bank received appreciation from the DAISY Forum of India (DFI), which is an umbrella body of over 96 organizations from India working for print disabled, on Bank’s adoption of DAISY standards and spreading information on the use of Talking ATMs through accessible version of manuals.

Awareness: Bank is also spreading awareness and sensitizing society which is one of the key needs along with the developing accessible solutions and products. Bank has produced high quality Audio-Visual on Talking ATM FOR ALL which is uploaded on Youtube. In September 2012, we collaborated with an NGO in a mega sensitization event at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai where over 1500 people experienced live talking ATM. We have published articles and given presentations on Talking ATM concept and its usage.

Union Bank is playing a leadership role in the financial services for visually challenged customers and has set a standard on Talking ATMs in India. Bank is constantly engaged in spreading awareness and positively impacting lives of persons with disabilities in many ways through Bank’s Talking ATM for All initiative.

  • Kisan ATM: As technology is spreading its wings across the length and breadth of the country, a need was felt by Bank to provide its customers in rural areas with an ATM which is easy to operate, does not warrant high level of literacy, remembering PINS and can read out instructions on screen to get cash or services. As a solution to this Bank has deployed Kisan ATMs in rural areas to serve the customers of Bank’s remote rural branches.



  • Union Bank Of India Tie-up for E-filing of I-T Returns with ClearTax: The Bank has entered into an agreement with Clearsharp Technology Pvt. Ltd., an E-Filing service provider, to provide the facility of E-Filing of IT Returns. E-Filing with ClearTax is Simple, Easy, Secure and helps E-File Annual IT Returns. The alliance with ClearTax is part of Bank’s goal to be a one stop financial super market and to meet the needs of the customers to facilitate convenience banking.


  • Cashless Campus Project : Union Bank has implemented a unique and innovative service christened as “Cashless Campus Project” for educational institutes /Universities. This service leverages technology for streamlining the payment system, and enables educational institutes /Universities to move all fee payments and sundry collections to the Online mode. Bank offers the following services under Cashless Campus Project:


  • Internet Banking Payment Gateway
  • Payment Gateway for credit / debit cards
  • Any Branch Payment


  • Loyalty Programme – Union Rewardz: The very own loyalty program initiated by Union Bank of India for Debit and Credit Card holders. Customers enjoy the privilege of accruing reward points on all transactions made through Debit & Credit Cards at POS and E-Commerce outlets. These points then can be redeemed against thousands of merchandise items, movie, bus & air tickets, gift vouchers & more.
  • Union e-Remit: Union e-Remit is an online facility offered to NRIs. This web based remittance product enables NRIs in UK to send money directly from their bank account in UK to any beneficiary in India. It is a fast easy and secured way of sending money to the loved ones in India. The money is directly credited to the beneficiary account.


  • Tax payment: Payment of Income tax is simplified through various channels like ATM, and Internet Banking for the tax payers.


  • Aadhar Seeding: Bank provides Aadhar Seeding facility to the customers through various channels like ATM, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking & by sending SMS.


  • Overdraft facility in PMJDY: Bank informs the eligible PMJDY account holders, through SMS about the eligibility to avail overdraft. The customer can send the request SMS for overdraft or can use ATM for request and the sanctioned amount will be intimated by the Bank through SMS. Customer can withdraw through any channel.

Digital Literacy:

Enrolment of the clients for the digital products followed by use of these products is required. The ease of using these products is taken care at the designing and developing the product.  The enrollment is taken care by digital channel itself and through branch wide the human interaction and hand holding. Digital literacy plays important role in dissemination of these digital products from the Bank to the common users. This also needs training workforce of the Bank to adopt and disseminate the technology products. Bank’s Training system, which has won prestigious Golden Peacock National Training Award for the Best Training System in the Country, 7 times and National Award for Innovative Training Practices (second prize for 2014-15) by the Indian Society for Training & Development (ISTD), takes care of handholding employees for digital skills in addition to the regular training.


The Bank improves confidence of the users by promoting integrity of systems, security of operations and customer protection.  The Bank has well laid IT security policy, which is reviewed every year to take care of the security aspects of the digital banking and to build and improve confidence of the users on digital products. Bank also has Integrated Case Management Tool (ICMT) to manage the customer complaints received from various channels to resolve the issues with committed turn around time (TAT). Bank is migrating card to EMV Chip and PIN and is replacing the ATMs to ATMs with EMV card processing capabilities.

Awards &Recognition:

Bank’s digital excellence is recognized by the following awards during 2014-15.

  • Bank is winner of IBA Banking Technology Awards 2015 in all six categories, under Medium Banks.
  1. Technology Bank of the year
  2. Enhance Customer Experience
  3. Best Use of Digital and Channels Technology
  4. Best Payment Initiatives
  5. Best Financial Inclusion Initiatives
  6. Best Fraud and Risk Management Initiative
  • Excellence in Innovation Award 2015 for implementation of M Passbook from Financial Insights, International Data Corporation (IDC).
  • “ICT4 Development Awards 2015” from ASSOCHAM in the areas of Green IT (Tabulous Banking, eKYC application and M Passbook application.
  • “elets Awards 2015” for “Multi Channel Payment Solution (IMPS)” from elets Technomedia Pvt. Ltd.
  • SKOCH order of Merit Awards 2015 for:
  1. eKYC implementation
  2. Financial Inclusion Technology
  3. Kendriya Vidyalaya Fee Collection
  • NPCI Awards 2015 under:
  1. Special category for implementation of IMPS through branches
  2. Recognition Award 2015 in issuance of Rupay cards


Adoption of Bank’s Digital Banking Products by the customers and the award and recognitions to the Bank are the marks on the Banks Digital Banking products and the Bank’s Digital initiatives. Though individual banks launch their own products, the common digital products and the digital infrastructure, which can be used by any Bank’s customers will drive the society towards cashless. This interoperability of the Digital products is initiated through National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) through various products like NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, NACH, NUUP (USSD), AEPS, APBS, BBPS, UPI, etc.,.  Union Bank is front runner in enabling the NPCI’s products and making the NPCI’s infrastructure useable to its customers. Banks abilities in enabling these products, facing the challenge of educating customers against the cyber threats and cyber frauds will make the journey towards cashless society successful.

About the Author

P Dhanasekaran
Msc (Agri), CAIIB
Chief Manager (Faculty)
Staff College, Bengaluru
Union Bank of India


Popular from web