To help customers ‘stay home and stay safe’, many banks are, upon request, offering services at the doorstep of customers.
The type of service, eligibility, limits and charges vary across banks. Here is a lowdown on such doorstep banking services (DSB).
What’s on offer?
Through doorstep banking, most banks offer basic banking services such as cash pick up, instrument (cheques, demand drafts, etc) pick up and delivery of cash (using cheques or withdrawal forms) to the registered address of the customer. Some banks also offer to pick up forms and documents such as KYC, Form 15G/H and life certificates for pensioners. You can also open new accounts or fixed deposits with some banks using this facility.
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To get these services, customers have to raise a request on either the phone/mobile banking facility of their banks. The bank will assess the request and send their personnel to the registered communication address of the customer. For ensuring safety of credentials etc, banks require the customer to share an ID proof and the SMS sent by the bank, with the delivery/pick-up person.
The customer can also do due diligence by verifying the identity card of the personnel sent by the bank along with the bank’s delivery/ pick up slip.
Currently, many banks including HDFC Bank, SBI, RBL Bank and DCB Bank offer such services only to senior citizens (aged 70 or above), and those who are differently-abled or infirm — those with medically certified chronic illness or disability — including visually impaired customers. However, doorstep banking facilities of Axis Bank are available for all savings account customers — except for minor accounts and jointly operated accounts. In the case of DCB Bank, select services, such as EMI collections through doorstep banking (using hand-held or portable devices) are available for all customers in select remote and rural locations.
To avail of doorstep banking, customers need to register themselves with the mobile/phone banking services of the bank. Also, the doorstep banking services are currently available only at select branches of various banks. Besides, the registered communication address of the customer should be within 5 km of such branches. Such information on branches, etc is available on the websites of the banks and can also be obtained from your bank’s relationship manager.
Limits and charges
Most banks permit only one doorstep banking request per day for each customer. Also, they have different limits for cash pick up or withdrawal facilities. For instance, Axis Bank’s customers cannot transact beyond ₹50,000 using the doorstep banking facilities. For customers of HDFC Bank and SBI, doorstep banking is available only for seniors and differently-abled — the transactions are capped at ₹25,000 and ₹20,000, respectively.
Some banks also have minimum transaction limits. For instance, customers of RBL Bank can only request for doorstep cash pick up or delivery, for ₹1,000 or more. The upper limit for such transactions is also the highest for RBL Bank customers at ₹2 lakh.
The charges for doorstep banking also vary across banks. SBI charges ₹60 and ₹100 (plus taxes) for each non-financial and financial transaction respectively. HDFC Bank charges ₹200 (plus taxes) per call for cash pick up or delivery and ₹100 (plus taxes) for instrument pick ups. For customers of Axis Bank’s Premium Savings Account (Priority and Burgundy) customers, four doorstep banking requests are offered free of cost, per month. For transactions beyond this and for non-premium customers, charges of ₹100 (plus taxes), per service, shall apply.
While using doorstep banking services, customers should be mindful about the processing time involved in such transactions. These are not instant, unlike the conventional internet or mobile or phone banking services, and hence may not be suitable for time-bound transactions.
Most banks offer these doorstep banking facilities on working days only. Also, the request processing time varies from bank to bank.
For instance, Axis Bank processes doorstep banking requests the same day, if the request is made to the Phone banking Centre of the bank by 1 pm. For requests received after 1 pm, the bank may exercise its discretion on a case-to-case basis and process them on the same day or subsequent day.
HDFC Bank takes one day to process such requests. Also, if the request is made after 3 pm, the process might even take two working days, depending on the bank’s discretion.
Given the hardships faced by customers during the lockdown, some banks offer the services of mobile ATMs as well. SBI has recently launched one such service for its customers at the Lucknow branch. Customers will have to send a request to the branch through Whatsapp to get such services. This is however a temporary scheme and will be valid until September 14.
Other banks such as ICICI Bank and Axis Bank also offer mobile ATM services under special circumstances such as during natural calamities or to containment zones during the lockdown. These services are, however, based on the discretion of the bank and are not available on customer requests.
If your branch does not offer doorstep banking facility, you can always continue to use the mobile or internet banking facilities of your bank. You can get done a host of your bank dealings such as payments, fund transfers, foreign remittances, investments in FDs, balance checks, statement requests and other non-financial transactions, using the mobile/internet banking facilities. Mobile and internet banking facilities require prior registration with the bank.
In certain cases, banks also permit the onboarding of new customers directly using the internet banking or mobile banking applications. DCB Bank, for instance, offers DCB Virtual Video Booth facility, for contactless on-boarding of new customers. The bank also offers services such as DCB Zippi (for opening a fixed deposit) and DCB Remit (for foreign remittances) for non DCB Bank customers as well.