From the Viewsroom

Take it to all doorsteps

Anand Kalyanaraman | Updated on September 29, 2020 Published on September 29, 2020

Doorstep banking holds immense potential to reform banking

Earlier this month, the Finance Minister inaugurated ‘Doorstep Banking’ services by public sector banks (PSBs) and announced an alliance of the 12 PSBs for this initiative. The PSBs are working towards floating a company to house the operations of this alliance. These are welcome moves, though much delayed. As a reader MK Nathan pointed out, the idea behind doorstep banking has been around for several years. As far back as 2007, the RBI had issued instructions on doorstep banking. Then, in late 2017, the RBI had advised banks to make concerted effort to provide basic banking facilities to senior citizens and differently-abled or infirm persons at their doorstep; this had to be done by December 2017.

Not much progress was made, and so again in March 2020, the RBI advised banks to offer doorstep banking services on pan India basis. The policy had to be made public by banks, the list of branches offering doorstep banking had to be displayed on the bank’s website regularly, and adequate publicity had to be given. This had to be complied with by April 2020. The significance of doorstep banking has been driven home during the Covid-19 pandemic with the lockdownshampering banking transactions, especially for senior citizens. Many senior citizens have still not been able to complete their banking and annual investment transactions. Had doorstep banking services been put in place given over the years, the situation might have been different.

Better late than never. Doorstep banking for both non-financial and financial services now needs to be rolled out by all banks in quick time and in the right earnest. Also, they should be offered across as many branches as possible and not restricted to the top centres. Restrictions such as the ‘within 5-km from the home branch’ rule should be eased. There should be ease of access to doorstep banking services for those not technologically savvy. Such services should be given wide publicity and charges should be reasonable.

Anand Kalyanaraman Deputy Editor

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Published on September 29, 2020
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