November 3-4, 2023 (IIMB Campus)

IIMB Golden Jubilee International Symposium

SBI and NPCI Case Competitions

Students and Startups can participate in either or both of the case competitions listed below –

  • SBI’s Startup Hub Branch Services 
  • NPCI – RuPay – National Common Mobility Card

Attractive prizes to be won – up to Rs. 1 lakh!

As part of the IIMB Golden Jubilee celebrations, IIMB, SBI, and NPCI have  designed case competitions to encourage and promote innovative ideas around interesting themes. Students and Startups can participate in this event as a team. A team shall have not more than three members. 

Here are the important timelines to keep in mind:

  1. November 2nd (Thursday) by 5 PM: Submission Deadline for the 5 Slider PPT (Please send your submissions by filling this form  before the deadline).
  2. November 3rd (Friday) afternoon: Semi-Finals for the Top 10 teams.
  3. November 4th (Saturday): Finals.

Case 1: SBI Startup Hub Branch Services 

  1. CASE TITLE: Enhancing Awareness and Usability of SBI Startup Branches

State Bank of India (SBI) established Startup branches to offer innovative financial services tailored to startups and entrepreneurs. However, these branches face significant challenges, including low awareness, limited trust, and low customer engagement. This case study explores these challenges and proposes resolutions to enhance awareness and engagement with these branches, with a primary focus on improving the in-branch experience.


SBI Startup branches face several key challenges:

Lack of Awareness:

  • Many potential customers are unaware of the existence and services provided by these startup branches.
  • Existing branches lack visibility and recognition.

Limited Trust:

  • As a new branch in the banking space, they struggle to gain the trust of customers accustomed to other established branches/ banks.
  • Customer Engagement:
  • Ensuring that customers utilize the services offered by the startup branches and have a positive in-branch experience is a significant challenge.

 The opportunity lies in creating a design solution that increases awareness and engagement without relying on traditional marketing and advertising tactics. The primary focus to be on creating a seamless and appealing customer journey within the branch itself. This approach will not only attract potential customers but also retain existing ones.


Limited Marketing Budget:

  • It is assumed that the startup branches may not have a substantial marketing budget for external advertising.

Minimal External Advertising:

  • The solution should not rely on external advertising methods but should rather focus on in-branch improvements.

In-Branch/Off-Branch Experience:

  • The primary objective is to improve the in-branch experience for customers.
  1. THE TASK:

To address the challenge and leverage the opportunity, a multifaceted approach is required. Here are the key tasks involved in this case:

Data Collection:

  • Gather primary data by observing in-branch interactions and conducting interviews with both existing and potential customers. This data will help identify pain points and preferences.

Design Inputs:

  • Develop design recommendations that encompass both physical changes within the branch and digital elements.

Awareness Enhancement:

  • Propose strategies to increase awareness of the Startup branches, potentially through innovative in-branch communication methods.

Usability Improvements:

  • Suggest changes that enhance the in-branch experience, making it more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable for customers.

Cost-Effective Solutions:

  • Considering the limited marketing budget, the solutions should be cost-effective and feasible for implementation.

The expected outcomes of this case include a comprehensive design proposal that addresses the challenges of awareness and usability for SBI Startup branches. The proposed solutions should be based on real data and be tailored to meet the needs and preferences of the target customers. The implementation of these recommendations has the potential to significantly improve the performance and reputation of these startup branches, thereby contributing to their success in the competitive banking market.

For teams working on the SBI case, we strongly recommend visiting the SBI Koramangala Startup branch to gain a better understanding of the ground reality before developing your solution. Here are the branch details:

Chief Manager and Head Name: Ankur Pandey
Contact Details: 8904469911 / 7760231234


SBI Start-up Branch
#117, 1st Floor,
Koramangala 7th Block
Bangalore – 560 095

To know more, please click here

Case 2: NPCI –  RuPay – National Common Mobility Card

Transit Ecosystem and Modes of Transit

In urban India, most people prefer travel by metros and buses, two-wheelers, cars, and autos. Just five per cent take cars. Public transport in Indian cities varies across geographies. While metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. have multiple modes like city buses, commuter rail, and metro rail, smaller towns such as Ranchi, Gwalior, etc. rely mainly on intermediate public transport modes like autos, shared autos etc. rather than buses. In large cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, etc., buses cater to more than 70% of public transport trips. Bus services in Bengaluru and Chennai recorded close to 35 lakh and 36 lakh passengers per day, respectively, in 2018-19.

During the last 3-4 decades, the banking sector has experienced a gradual transformation by introducing various digitized payment methods for retail transactions. But for transit, most of the fare collection across different transport modes like parking, bus, metro, etc., was majorly done by using cash. This caused many problems associated with handling cash, i.e., long queues, revenue leakages, daily reconciliation challenges, etc. COVID-19 further worsened the situation, and digital contactless payments started gaining preference over cash.


With the increased focus on digitizing the transit ecosystem, many transit operators started implementing card-based digital payments solutions which could be only used within their respective ecosystem (closed loop). The Card-based solution was preferred over an Account-based solution as most of the transit operators work in an offline environment. In the metro ecosystem, the entry/exit gates are not online, and transactions are sent to the backend system in batches. In the bus environment also, due to lack of internet connectivity in certain areas, Card-based approach was preferred.

Closed-loop Card-based digital payments were well adapted by urban population. However, there was an urgent need for one card that would work across various modes of transit like metros and buses and also in transit in other cities.


To address these challenges and to create an affordable and reliable interoperable system that works across all types of transit modes, RuPay National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) was launched. The objective being a single card that can be used across all transit operators in the country. [RuPay Contactless Card | NPCI – National Payments Corporation of India]

Role of NCMC

The NCMC card aims to provide a convenient and integrated way for commuters to pay for their fares across various transit systems without the need to carry multiple cards or cash. It features a dedicated stored value component that holds a balance, usable not only for transit ticketing but also for retail low-value transactions. All contactless RuPay debit/credit/prepaid cards have NCMC functionality. Moreover, the cards are designed to be interoperable across different cities and transit systems that are part of the NCMC program.

Current Status

Currently, NCMC has been implemented in Mumbai Metro Line 2A and 7, Mumbai Metro line 1, BEST Buses, Delhi Metro, Gujarat Metro, Bangalore Metro, Chennai Metro and Kanpur Metro. The next phase of growth will be coming from state and city bus transport. Recently, Govt. of India has passed a budget for deploying 10k EV Buses across 169 cities. NCMC will also add new use cases like parking, access management, EV charging and other offline small value payments. [RuPay Contactless Card | NPCI – National Payments Corporation of India]


Despite all the advantages of NCMC, multiple challenges still exist with respect to customer adoption. While Mumbai Metro line 2A and 7 have seen a good adoption (35% penetration), other projects have been slow in NCMC adoption. This is primarily because Mumbai line 2A and 7 are greenfield projects, while all the remaining projects are brownfield, where customers are still using the existing closed-loop cards of respective transit operators. While we are working with the Ministry and transit operators for sunsetting the existing closed-loop cards, the following challenges need to be addressed:

  • Currently there are 48 issuers who are issuing NCMC cards. Together they have issued more than 164 million cards which can be readily used in NCMC compliant transit systems. However, these existing cards are not getting activated for transit payments. This is primarily because of lack of customer awareness for:
    • Identifying whether their card is NCMC compliant.
    • How to activate and recharge their NCMC card on a regular basis.
  • As NCMC has also followed the Card-based approach, the recharge of the card is a two-step process.
    • Step 1: Customer does the recharge using any of the channels provided by the bank, ex. Mobile Banking, UPI channel, BBPS channel, Net Banking, Payment Gateway, etc.
    • Step 2: Customer has to update the balance on the card by using Add Value Machines (AVM), which are placed at metro stations.

Due to the existing process, customers have to physically visit the metro stations and update the balance on their card (through AVMs). In doing so, they do not see any tangible benefit of doing an online recharge and have suggested if the recharge process can be made seamless.

  • Flawed user experience on Internet Banking and Mobile Banking Apps for activation, recharge and card management.

From the perspective of user, the card issuance and recharge should be simple and seamless. Given the varied customer segment, especially when NCMC gets implemented in buses there is an urgent need to solve for the above challenges.


Card-Based Ticketing (Stored Value)
Card-based ticketing systems are those in which the ticketing data is principally and continuously stored mostly or exclusively on the fare media, be it a magnetic stripe card or a Near-Field Communication (NFC) card. The terminals used may, depending on the technology, temporarily or permanently store some data or even transfer it to a central server. The central server data is not used for operational purposes; for example, the validity of the ticket is not checked immediately against the central server data. Instead, the validation logic built in the terminal determines whether the ticketing token (card) is authentic, and the data is valid for travel.

Account-Based ticketing
In the ABT system, travelers can use their existing bank cards, which are linked to their account. As a result, passengers do not have to carry physical paper tickets or a reloadable card to show they have the right to travel, and the back-office ticketing system will automatically calculate the fare, which is debited from their bank account.

This system is vulnerable to first rider risk, where the user gets to travel without having sufficient balance in his account. This can only be stopped by putting up a blacklisting process which is not a viable option in the current transit ecosystem.

Closed-Loop System
In a closed-loop systems, the ticketing fare media specifications, applications and interfaces are proprietary to the transit operator (AFC system provider). In such cases the fare media issued by the transit operator is only accepted by the respective operator.

Open-Loop System
In open-loop systems, passengers can use their existing bank-issued contactless credit/debit/prepaid card to pay for journeys. This means there are no costs associated with issuing cards for the transit operators, as the banks handle this.

Passengers tap their contactless card on the transit gates for validation and access transit services. The transaction is processed by the AFC back office and transfers it to the Acquiring bank for settlement.

Register for the Case Competition

SBI Startup Branch

Click here to download info


  • Students and Startups of any size can participate
  • Team size of not more than 3 members
  • Interested teams must register themselves for the case competition
  • Prize money for the first three winning teams 
  • A certificate shall be handed over to the winning teams