It’s month end and in a week the most awaiting message “Salary Credited” would buzz on our mobile screens. The happiness of looking at the message would fade away from the next thought of withdrawing money from the nearest ATM comes to our mind. The reasons for this are obvious and we are fed up with the ATM machines which cover their face with no cash boards. Most irritating part is many of the ATMs in the city are not functional.
A resident of Madhapur and a customer of Corporation Bank, Madhapur says that from the past 5 days in a row he turned away looking the ‘NO cash Board at their Bank’s ATM. He also told that in search of withdrawal of money he visited HDFC, ICICI and SBI ATMs of this area but there are either not functional or out of cash most of the times all these days. Moreover, this is the not situation at Madhapur alone all most all the ATMs across the city share similar setback and 70% of ATMs are dry. What could be the reason for this, when this was questioned, a bank official answered that most of the ATMs were functional and are well maintained the problem is that the cash filling services are not efficient. The RBI claims that it is distributing the cash to the banks as per demand. Since demonetization, it was clearly evident that there is no efficient process of distributing money to banks by RBI. The banks find fault with the customers who make unnecessary withdrawals. On the other hand, customers argue that there is nothing like unnecessary withdrawal, it’s our hard earned money and we put in the bank and banks are supposed to provide the legitimate service to its customers.
With the demonetization, the government is pushing people towards digital transactions. Yet the practicality of this is highly questionable. How many small scale business and workers purely depend on cash transactions? Many of them have no bank accounts and people who have them use it just to put their money into savings and they are not aware how a digital transaction can be made. Many people being illiterate and lack of awareness of using electronic transactions still face trouble using debit cards. The traditional way of cash transaction makes them feel safe and comfortable. And literate people who can use technology at its best can not make the digital payments at traditional, small scale business, road side vendors, and tea shop etc as it doesn’t make sense using a swiping machine for such mean transaction. Whereas this problem is solved to some extent with the E- Wallets that plunged into the market after demonetization in India. Starting from Paytm there are many e-wallets like PayUMoney, Citrus, Mobikwik, State Bank Buddy, Citi MasterPass, CICI Pockets, HDFC Chillr, LIME, Airtel Money, Jio Money, Freecharge Wallet etc. Apart from Paytm which already has a good market reach which is being widely used, during demonetization it reached every street shop and facilitated small business to get their payments digitally directly from customer’s mobile. This saved a lot of people and served as a second to physical cash payments at street shops and roadside vendors. The other E-wallets could not make this possible however there trying to be next preferred E-wallet to Paytm. While people finding ways to make cash less transactions waiting for the government to get things on track as promised, there are never ending problems with banking services that people face every day.
Adding fuel to the people’s dissatisfaction the RBI has made recent changes in the transaction charges. Banking sector being the backbone of country’s economy the quality of service is diminishing day by day and on contrary service charges are increasing day by day. Thanks for technology, now most of the Banking can be done online, nevertheless, we still need to walk into the bank to avail certain services. Banking being a public service sector should be within the reach of people but it is moving away from customers reach. We are aware that every 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month is a public holiday for banks in India with effect from 1st September 2015. This extra off is causing discomfort to many people who chose Saturdays as preferred banking day because most people Saturday was the week off. Having this extra off and also the timings of banks remain unchanged that was not accessible for working crowd who work from 9:00 to 6.00, there is a lot of negative feedback from the people on the 2nd and 4th Saturday holiday for banks. While this dissatisfaction goes with people, one of the leading bank union planned to stress on all Saturday holidays in the next bipartite settlement with the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The government should look after how justifiable it is to consider the proposal on holidays on all Saturdays. With many festivals and traditional celebrations in India, the banking sector is getting enough holidays and people are already suffering from the existing two Saturday holiday in a month. The banking sector is ruining the reputation and it is no longer the day comes it will be tagged as the most dissatisfied public service sector. Demonetization has already taken the toll on the functioning of the end to end banking services. With all these setbacks and many unanswered questions, we wish one day would come that banking services would set their path towards customer satisfaction.