State-Run Banks to Start Doorstep Services

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A few years after the Reserve Bank of India had recommended doorstep banking, state-run banks are coming together to appoint a common service provider to finally initiate the service.

According to a report, UCO Bank has floated a Request for Proposal on behalf of all public sector banks looking for a third party which will operate the system comprising a call centre, a website and a mobile app.

Initially, the facilities will only be limited to senior citizens and disabled for whom it’s difficult to physically visit the branches for day-to-day banking requirement. However, it will be extended to other consumers at a nominal fee, the report said.

In a 2017 notification, the RBI had noted, “It has been observed that there are occasions when banks discourage or turn away senior citizens and differently-abled persons from availing banking facilities in branches. Notwithstanding the need to push digital transactions and the use of ATMs, it is imperative to be sensitive to the requirements of senior citizens and differently-abled persons.”

Banks were advised to make concerted effort to provide basic banking facilities, such as pick up of cash and instruments against receipt, delivery of cash against withdrawal from the account, delivery of demand drafts, submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documents and Life certificate at the premises/ residence of such customers.

The RBI had advised banks to lay down general principles and broad parameters for “doorstep” services to their customers. Since a number of agents will be involved in this process, they need to be educated to detect forged and mutilated notes to avoid frauds.

“Banks are further advised to take into account the various risks that may arise on account of offering doorstep banking services to customers directly or through agents and take effective steps to manage the same. Banks may specifically consider prescribing cash limits for their agents and customers in this regard,” the RBI guideline had said.

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