Doorstep banking for elderly on cards

NEW DELHI : Over 50 million senior citizens above 70 years of age and an equally large number of differently abled persons could soon expect to get basic banking services in the convenience of their homes.

The department of financial services (DFS) in the finance ministry proposes to notify a new guide for bankers soon, which will make doorstep provision of banking services mandatory for certain bank branches for senior citizens and the differently abled, according to two persons aware of the development.

One of the two people said that identified bank branches would offer doorstep delivery banking on payment of a nominal user-fee. There may be a universal phone number to request these services.

Doorstep banking services have already been mandated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which gave banks two separate deadlines—31 December 2017 and again 30 April 2020. But pan-India application remains weak and patchy. The government through a fresh notification now wants to make these services mandatory with strict instruction for time-bound implementation. It also wants banks to constantly expand the scope of such services to cater to large sections of needy population across the country.

The doorstep scheme will offer a host of banking services including opening of bank accounts, fixed deposits, pension services, insurance, investments and loans. Though services will be mandatory for branches identified under an approved framework, other branches will also be mandated to provide these services on a ‘best effort basis’.

The people quoted above said the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in consultation with DFS has finalised the draft of a new Bankers Guide, which is proposed to be presented to the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) before being notified.

Questions sent to ministry of finance and secretary department of financial services remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

A meeting was convened by DFS in June under the chairmanship of Lalit Kumar, economic advisor, DFS with representatives from RBI, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, Oriental Insurance, LIC and IBA on the matter.

As part of the deliberations IBA was advised to update the 2017 Bankers’ Guide, which was done in May. This updated guide will now become the new guide.

It is expected that doorstep delivery of services will not be restricted to banking services as the government also wants to include certain insurance and currency services under its ambit.

Along with these guidelines, manuals will also be issued for infrastructure facilities at bank branches and ATMs that support easy delivery of services to the elderly and differently abled.

Banks have been told to properly display and update the list of branches offering such doorstep banking services on their websites.

Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Subscribe to Mint Newsletters

* Enter a valid email

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: