For A Better Banking Experience !

A 5 !

What I tried to present below is my sincere feedback but not a complaint to have a better banking experience ! Our banking operations have undergone a sea change over the years in ensuring ease and yet there is a greater need and scope for betterment.

The Central bank recently asked a leading private sector bank to stop sourcing new credit cards and to halt digital launches amid technical glitches.No doubt the action needs appreciation as it insists on accountability. But the power outage is not totally in one’s hand though the problem needs to be attended to by an alternate enough back up strength and the like.Reports of uproar over the social media on the failure of online services in the case of a leading public sector bank is another grim reminder that technological upgradation to the fullest extent is essential with the state of the art facilities if we want to have greater inroads into digital world especially in sectors like banking. Even today NEFT transactions are reflected many times in the beneficiary’s account after an undue delay.Making NEFT facility available at 24*7 and RTGS too from December onwards are steps worth appreciation but all these bear fruits when the speed of operations is pretty high.More people are now preferring digital banking in view of the fear associated with corona.If some how people are made to enjoy the ease, speed,comfort and care bestowed of this facility in its fullest potential before the pandemic wanes down, the government’s intention to go digital would yield higher dividends.

There are equally important areas where I feel  the central bank’s intervention is needed for changes depending upon the feasibility.Some of the areas are:

The exorbitantly high rates of interest (about 36%upwards) on credit card dues. : One may say that this is a credit facility with no collateral security but then so are many other types accessible to several classes of people.These are one important source of meeting the exigencies for the middle class without running amuck and this class forms an integral and appreciable part in taking care of debt servicing, come what may! That said, a lessened interest burden would help more people both in terms of borrowing and repaying and the increased volume with reduced default load would indisputably increase the profits in the sector too !

Frequent ‘no cash’ or ‘out of service’ situations in ATMs: If a small display board is hung so that it can be seen from afar, lot of undue inconvenience of parking the vehicle, going all the way to the ATM and walking back  disappointed can be avoided.In buzzing metros, lot of traffic woes too can be avoided by this, as it is difficult to park vehicles on the wayside. At times, the customer makes an attempt at several ATMs in the vicinity experiencing the same difficulty.We understand from laws of mechanics,that a vehicle with frequent halts consumes more fuel than the one in continuous motion. Thus lot of fuel can be saved by avoiding undue halting and restarting, there by this helps in lot of savings of foreign exchange for crude bill.It is apt to mention here that government is able save whopping sum of thousands of crores by the introduction of Fastag,the underlying principle involved being same.

Lack of clarity on the details of transactions though ATMs : in many cases the codes are not understandable to the customers

A quicker transmission of benefit as and when repo rate cuts are announced : they are usually immediately implemented if there is a rate hike.

Higher charges on insufficient balance:  Very high in case of some of the private banks.

Need for simple changes in the menu of ATM transactions for a faster and better comprehension : In many cases a message such as “ transaction is declined” is displayed with out specifying whether it is due to insufficient balance or lack of cash in the ATM or incorrect pin or inadequate denominations for the amount sought or the amount entered is above the permitted limit (in the event of which, the same may be displayed with the permissible limit) etc ! The customer, at times, being unable to understand the reason, makes another attempt in the same or another machine in the same cabin thinking that there was mistake on his part in inserting the card and the like.This results in undue fretting ,frowning and fury of   customers waiting outside.

Lack of clarity of letters displayed in the captcha suggested for logging in : Some times one has to make an attempt with a wrong captcha for twice or even thrice and if failed,the net banking goes defunct.

Many of these issues are common to both public and private sector banks.Solving many of these may not cost crores of rupees or even lakhs. They assume greater significance to make the menu and overall operations more user friendly such that the novices and illiterates too can experience the ease.

All in all, there is a need for a thorough relook into the way we can improve “EASE OF LIVING” for the common man, in many cases by simple changes but with immense benefits in various vital walks of life such as  banking  ! !

It would be unfair on my part to conclude my write up without acknowledging that this is one sector which extended uninterrupted services as is the case with other front liners despite the strictest lockdown in the world and thus deserves an equal degree of applause from all !