RBI seeks door-step banking facility for aged, disabled by Dec

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed all banks to implement doorstep banking facilities for differently-abled citizens and those above 70 years of age by December this year, as part of its efforts to facilitate seamless banking for all sections of the society.

RBI has asked banks to make concerted effort to provide basic banking facilities, such as pick-up of cash and instruments against receipt, delivery of cash against withdrawal from account, delivery of demand drafts, submission of Know Your Customer (KYC) documents and life certificate at the premises/ residence of such customers.

Banks are advised to implement these instructions by December 31, 2017 in letter and spirit and give due publicity in their bank branches and website.

RBI, in its 4 October monetary policy statement, had pointed to instances when banks discourage or turn away senior citizens and differently abled persons from availing banking facilities in branches. ''Notwithstanding the need to push digital transactions and use of ATMs, it is imperative to be sensitive to the requirements of senior citizens and differently abled persons,'' RBI had stated.

RBI has asked banks to put in place appropriate mechanism with specific provisions for meeting the needs of such customers so that they are able to avail of the bank's services without difficulty.

Accordingly, banks have been asked to open specific dedicated counters or preferential treatment to senior citizens and differently abled persons

Banks have been advised to provide a clearly identifiable dedicated counter or a counter which provides priority to senior citizens and people who are differently abled, including visually impaired persons.

As per extant guidelines issued by department of government and bank accounts, in addition to the facility of Digital Life Certificate under `Jeevan Praman' scheme, pensioners can submit physical life certificate form at any branch of the pension paying bank.

However, RBI noted that receiving branches of banks often fail to update promptly the Core Banking Solution (CBS) system of the bank, resulting in avoidable hardship to the pensioners. The cenrtal bank has now asked banks to ensure that when a Life Certificate is submitted in any branch, including a non-home branch, of the pension paying bank, the same is updated/ uploaded promptly in CBS by the receiving branch itself, to avoid any delay in credit of pension. Besides, RBI has asked banks to:

  • Promptly issue cheque books to customers, whenever a request is received, through a requisition slip;
  • Provide minimum 25 cheque leaves every year, if requested, in savings bank account, free of charge;
  • Should desist from insisting on physical presence of any customer, including senior citizens and differently abled persons, for getting cheque books; and
  • Issue cheque books, on requisition by any other mode as per bank's laid down policy.

RBI has further clarified that providing such facility in BSBDA will not render the account to be classified as non-BSBDA.

At present, in some banks, even fully KYC-compliant accounts are not automatically converted into 'Senior Citizen Accounts' on the basis of date of birth maintained in the bank's records. Banks are advised that a fully KYC compliant account should automatically be converted into a 'Senior Citizen Account' based on the date of birth available in bank's records.

Banks have been advised that facilities be provided to sick/old/incapacitated persons as per RBI's master circular.

Banks have been asked to provide senior citizens and differently abled persons Form 15G/H once in a year (preferably in April) to enable them to submit the same, where applicable, within the stipulated time.

Ombudsmen will also be advised to pay heed to complaints in this context. Necessary instructions in this regard will be issued by end-October 2017.