The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has directed banks in the country to offer specific doorstep services for the benefit of disabled individuals and senior citizens. Banks have been directed to offer these special services through doorstep banking and dedicated counters at branches. The RBI has stated that complaints have been received from these groups of customers with regard to being discouraged from availing of the facilities for banking at their branches.
In spite of the growing need to emphasize on ATM usage and digital transactions, there is also a need to be highly sensitive towards the needs of differently abled individuals and senior citizens according to the circular issued by the RBI. However, there is no mention of whether banks can charge extra amounts for providing doorstep banking solutions.
The RBI has also asked for dedicated/preferential counters to be set up by banks to address the needs of this category of customers. Banks have also been directed to upload Life Certificates that are given by pensioners into their core banking system across all branches. They have been directed not to go by just the branch, which pays pension. Banks will now have to give cheque books at branches against only a requisition slip. They cannot insist on the presence of the senior account holder. Banks also have to provide Form 15G/H annually (ideally in April) so that income tax deadlines are successfully met by senior citizens.
Banks have also been directed to offer all basic banking facilities and services including delivery of cash against account withdrawals, picking up instruments and cash against receipts, demand draft delivery and the submission of Life Certificate and KYC (know your customer) at the residences of these customers. These solutions have been highlighted by the RBI in order to make life easier for customers in these age groups and also differently abled persons. For customers who have already completed the KYC procedure, banks have been directed to establish systems so that their bank accounts can directly and automatically be upgraded to senior citizen accounts based on the date of birth.