MUMBAI: Just when the banking industry was looking to reduce its headcount with the help of digital and software robotics, which have helped reach out to customers in an easier manner, the Reserve Bank of India has thrown a spanner in the works.
With the central bank mandating doorstep banking for senior citizens, many banks are reviving their hiring plans to meet the requirements under the new norms. In November, the regulator had mandated that banks will offer doorstep banking facilities to senior citizens of over 70 years and the differently-abled.
Bandhan Bank, which commenced operations with 501 branches and 2,022 doorstep service centres, has scaled up its doorstep outlets to 2,547 in the past two years. It is also planning to hire about 5,000 people in 2017-18 to meet the growing manpower needs at branches and other doorstep service centres. The bank has also developed a banking curriculum for graduates who will be specifically trained for branch banking. The private sector micro-loan lender is one of the few banks that relies on expansion of physical presence and needs a steady source of trained people to run the show.
IDFC Bank too currently offers doorstep services at more than 7,000 locations across the country, including metros, semi-urban and rural locations. “Doorstep banking is a key element of our bank’s retail model, besides bringing convenience to the customer’s doorstep — this service has helped create digital inclusion and also inculcates the habit of small savings in the hinterland,” said Avtar Monga, ED, IDFC Bank.
In its notification, the RBI had said that senior citizens and specially-abled persons, including the visually-impaired, should be provided basic services such as pick-up and delivery of cash, cheque books and demand drafts at their residence.
These facilities would also include submission of know-yourcustomer (KYC) documents and delivery of life certificates at the residence of such customers. RBI while issuing the notification had observed that banks were turning away senior citizens and differently-abled persons from availing of banking facilities at branches. Even the newly launched small finance and payments banks are not too far behind. Suryoday Small Finance Bank, which has over 226 doorstep service centres, is also looking to ramp up people manning such outlets.
“Our representatives go and meet customers and we have received a lot of feedback about how customers are happy with such a service — this is not only for senior citizens or differently-abled people,” said R Baskar Babu, MD of the bank. “We will see how this service catches up and will accordingly plan further investments and chalk out plans to hire more people.”
Source by:- indiatimes