The RBI has issued a directive to banks to make basic banking easier for senior citizens above the age of 70 and for those who are differently-abled. Banks should provide doorstep facilities to such citizens by 31st December 2017.
In light of the hardships faced by those who are aged, differently-abled, have chronic illnesses or disabilities, the RBI said that banks should make concerted efforts to ensure basic banking facilities are easily accessible to them. This will include pick-up and delivery of cash, demand drafts and chequebooks, collection of KYC documents and Life Certificates from the residence.
Under the Jeevan Pramaan Scheme, apart from the facility of Digital Life Certificate, pensioners can submit their Life Certificate form at any branch of the bank that pays the pension. In turn, the respective bank branch should update the home branch at once and then upload the certificate in the Core Banking Solution system (CBS). However, it was noted that the Life Certificates were not uploaded promptly, leaving pensioners with more worries.
The Reserve Bank of India directed banks to not insist that such customers be physically present at a bank branch to get a cheque book. In addition, a minimum of 25 cheque leaves should be provided free of cost to savings bank accountholders. Furthermore, based on the birthday stated in the bank records, banks can automatically convert any KYC compliant account to a “Senior Citizen Account”. Form 15G/H, for tax related purposes, should also be provided to senior citizens and the differently-abled once a year, preferably in April.
All banks, including payments banks and small finance institutions, received instructions to implement these instructions by 31st December 2017. The banks must ensure that they inform customers via letters, in person, and through publicity at the bank branch and on the website. Senior citizens, differently-abled or infirm people might also face difficulties with digital banking facilities, therefore, doorstep banking will help reduce their banking woes significantly.
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