Finance minister launches doorstep banking initiative by PSBs

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday launched a doorstep banking services initiative by public sector banks (PSBs) which will provide convenience to customers.

This is part of EASE (enhanced access and service excellence) reforms that the Department of Financial Services had undertaken in 2018.

Now, one can bank from home with the finance minister launching the doorstep service initiative of PSBs, Financial Services Secretary Debasish Panda said.

Customer convenience and comfort will be the top priority in the entire process, he added.

Asserting that EASE reforms have resulted in improving various financial parameters of PSBs, Panda said there has been a six-fold increase in the number of profitable lenders in the last two years.

Recalling the hassle-free transfer of money under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, he said despite the COVID-19 lockdown there was seamless fund transfer in accounts of crores of beneficiaries.

As part of the EASE reforms, the doorstep banking initiative is envisaged to provide convenience of banking services to customers at their doorstep through the universal touch points of call centre, web portal or mobile app, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

The services will be rendered by the doorstep banking agents deployed by the selected service providers at 100 centres across the country, it said.

At present only non-financial services like pick up of negotiable instruments (cheque/demand draft/pay order etc), pick up of 15G / 15H forms, pick up of IT/GST challan, request for account statement, delivery of term deposit receipt, among others, are available to customers.

Financial services shall be made available from October 2020, it said, adding the services can be availed by customers of PSBs at nominal charges.

The services shall benefit all customers, particularly senior citizens and divyangs (differently-abled), it added.

With regard to performance of PSBs on EASE 2.0 Index, it said they have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over four quarters.

The overall score of PSBs increased by 37 per cent between March 2019 and March 2020, with the average EASE index score improving from 49.2 to 67.4 out of 100, it said. The index measures the performance of each PSB on 120-plus objective metrics across six themes.