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Banking in Times of Corona - India Perspective

The situation arising out of corona pandemic has hit all of us hard and reality has been thrust on us. While this situation is a first time experience for many of us, this has been an eye-opener to have a larger look at the way we operate.

The footfalls as part of branch banking have diminished to a large extent and banks have asked customers to use digital channels. While the retail customers who have shifted to digital banking have been able to make use of the channels, there are many who cannot use the channels to the complete extent.

We look at some of the options that can be tried to see if we can cope up with these scenarios in the days to come or in case we see such situations in future.

Video based banking

RBI has recently issued guidelines with respect to onboarding of customers using digital kyc.  We can take a leaf out of the book and extend the guidelines to existing customers. Banks can tie up with video kyc solutions in the market. With apt face and voice recognition technologies in place, banking can be extended to existing customers as well. Banks can have a centralized cell and customers may interact using mobile/desktop and normal banking transactions can continue.

Corporate banking customers may comprehensively use Online banking, block chain platforms and ensure that the need to step in the bank with respect to trade finance transactions are reduced to a minimum. The bank authorizations and endorsements can be digitized so as to ensure that there is zero need for customers to step into the bank. Of course, there is a need to have interference from both DIGFT, RBI, technology fintech partners, banks to ensure that a proper eco system is put in place

Cluster Banking – Collaborative Banking

It is in these testing times that banks can come together to explore the possibility of setting up common touch points. Possibility of having authorized agents can also be looked in the long run. This would come handy in Rural India or in places where topography is challenging.

Money on wheels – Essentials

Digital penetration is not 100%. The corona situation makes it imperative to push digitalization to the forefront. Although, there has been wide spread initiatives to open Jan Dhan accounts for everyone, everywhere, there are cases where cash still rules the roost. Under the circumstances, it is not possible for banks to replenish the ATMS and ensure their working to their fullest capacity. A framework of money on wheels as part of essential services can be looked at with specific guidelines in place. Partnering with delivery services too can be thought upon.

While these measures are just indicative and not exhaustive, its high time that we look beyond the traditional ways and look at alternatives to sustain and pass through these times. May be, these may be cost effective and prove to be an easier and sustainable. Like it is said, Necessity is the mother of invention.

 

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