Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday (September 09, 2020) launched doorstep banking services for public sector banks in order to facilitate hassle-free and convenient banking to Senior Citizen and those in the ‘divyang’ (differently-abled) category. The move is part of the EASE reforms to make banking easier and accessible.
The salient features of new services to be provided by PSBs are;
- Doorstep service will be carried out via the universal touchpoints of call centre, web portal, or mobile app. Customers can also track their service requests through these channels.
- In addition to existing non-financial services such as pick up of cheque or demand draft or Bankers cheque, pick up new cheque book requisition slip, request for account statement, delivery of non-personalized cheque book, delivery of the pre-paid instrument or gift card, etc., financial service will also be available from October 2020.
- Banks will charge a nominal amount for these services.
Doorstep banking was prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India a few years ago; however, Central Bank was not convinced by the services provided by public sector lenders in this regard. On March 31st of this year Reserve Bank of India, said that despite the regulator’s advisory for banks to extend doorstep services for senior citizens and differently-abled people, banks haven’t yet offered such services, hence asked for “strict compliance” on the same by April 30, 2020. RBI further advised Banks to incorporate the following aspects in their Board approved policy for such services:
- Banks shall offer the doorstep banking services on a pan-India basis.
- Banks should develop a Board approved framework for determining the nature of branches/centres where these services will be provided mandatorily and those where it will be provided on a best effort basis and make the policy public.
- The list of branches offering such doorstep banking services shall be displayed/ updated on the bank’s website regularly.
- Banks shall give adequate publicity to the availability of these services in their public awareness campaigns.
- The charges, in this regard, shall also be prominently indicated in brochures and published in their websites.
The Finance Minister after the launch of PSB Alliance-Doorstep Banking Services, said that “Banks need to introspect on their core businesses,” India is an example to other countries in the way citizens adopted Jan Dhan, Aadhar and mobile she added. She also said that state-owned banks to remain focused on their core business of lending and banking services must reach those areas where banks have not yet reached.