Doorstep banking for seniors on cards | Techy Kings

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NEW DELHI : More than 50 million seniors aged 70 and over and a large number of people with disabilities can soon expect to have basic banking services in the comfort of their homes.

The department of financial services (DFS) in the finance ministry plans to notify new guidelines for bankers soon, which will mandate the provision of doorstep banking services for certain bank branches for the elderly and the disabled, according to two people aware of the development.

One of the two said that identified bank branches will offer doorstep delivery banking on payment of a nominal user fee. There may be a universal phone number to request this service.

The doorstep banking service has been mandated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which gave banks two separate deadlines—December 31, 2017 and again on April 30, 2020. But the pan-India application remains weak and patchy. The government through a new notification now wants to make this service mandatory with strict instructions for implementation on time. It also wants the bank to constantly expand the scope of such services to cover a large portion of the needy population across the country.

The doorstep scheme will offer a range of banking services including bank account opening, fixed savings, pension services, insurance, investment and loans. While the service will be mandated for branches identified under the approved framework, other branches will also be mandated to provide these services on a ‘best endeavours’ basis.

The person quoted above said the Indian Banks Association (IBA) in consultation with the DFS has finalized a new draft Banker’s Guide, which is proposed to be presented to the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) before notification.

Questions sent to the finance ministry and the financial services secretary’s department remained unanswered as of press time.

A meeting was held 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 discussion IBA was advised to update the Bankers Guide 2017, which was done in May. This updated guide will now be the new guide.

Door-to-door service delivery is not expected to be limited to banking services as the government also wants to include certain insurance and currency services under its purview.

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

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

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