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REMOTE BANKING

Traditionally, banking in India has been all about branches. Till a decade back, it was hard to imagine that banking could be done from outside a bank branch.

In the last decade, the Indian banking system has evolved to provide several types of remote banking channels. The objective of all types of remote banking is to provide extra convenience to customers and save service cost to the bank.

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Internet Banking
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Phone Banking
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ATMs
* Kiosks
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Mobile Banking

Internet banking

Most private & MNC banks have set-up elaborate Internet banking infrastructure for their customers. Internet banking provides greater benefits to both customers & banks. Banks can reach a larger mass of people at low costs thus bringing down customer acquisition costs. They can also innovate quicker and satisfy specific customer needs. Customers, on the other hand can enjoy the convenience of banking sitting anywhere and use their bank accounts. Individual banks are at different levels of Internet banking infrastructure. Each customer is given a unique user name & password to access their accounts.

Some banks only allow customers to receive & accept information online, others have developed transactional sites. The highest level of Internet banking infrastructure completely negates the need to visit a bank branch and the customer can transact, transfer money, buy/sell in the stock market, pay bills and other merchandise through the Internet.

Although Internet banking is gaining pace, there are some risks associated with the same. The biggest concern is that of security & confidentiality. I.e. most people fear that they run the risk of their bank accounts getting mis-used if their account passwords get leaked. Hence, higher level of authentication & privacy requirements are being put in place to increase customer confidence on this aspect of banking

Phone Banking

Phone banking is a very popular remote banking channel since it involves a human interface unlike the other remote banking channels. Given that banking for Indians means faith & trust, a human interface gives greater confidence to customers with their banking needs.

Most banks allow all kinds of transactions on the phone but within specified limits. Each customer is given a unique PIN called T-PIN( telephone PIN). Customers can access bank accounts & funds by calling their banks at a toll free number 24/7/365. On calling, customers first need to provide certain verifications to the phone officer. This is to ensure that no mis-use happens on the account. Typically, these verifications are a combination of parameters extremely personal to an individual. Hence, as long as individual does not share them with anyone, there are very few chances of mis-use. Customers can use phone banking to check account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, make investments, stop cheque payments, get cash delivery, avail of loans, redeem their reward points earned on credit/debit cards, etc

ATM's

ATM's are unmanned banking terminals where customers can access their bank accounts. The ATM/ debit cards are used at ATM's. Customers need to slip in their card & enter their unique PIN number; post which they get access to their account. They can then withdraw or deposit money, make bill payments, etc on their account. After finishing the transaction, a transaction slip is generated confirming the transaction done.

ATM banking has reduced the need to carry regular cash as well as for emergency. It is an extremely safe mode of remote banking as long as the PIN is unique & protected.

Kiosks

This is the latest development on the remote baking front, also known as 'Touch-screen' banking. A kiosk is a self- service banking terminal that can be operated with both credit & debit cards. The Debit/credit card can be swiped at against the card reader at the kiosk and account accessed post entering the ATM PIN. Currently, very few banks like Citibank offer this facility to their customers at select ATM centers across the country.

Unlike an ATM, which is primarily used for cash transactions like withdrawals, deposits, etc, a kiosk is primarily used for non-cash transactions like cheque book request, printing bank account statements, funds transfer, etc.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking allows customers to make banking transactions on the mobile phone using the SMS facility. Unlike Phone banking, this does not require customers to call the bank. Most private & MNC banks currently provide this service as a value-added service to their customers.

With mobile banking, customers can do balance enquiry, stop cheque payment, bill payment, transfer funds, statement of account, etc at their own convenience. Mobile banking does not require a PIN since customers can access their own account only from their registered mobile number. For eg: If I register for a Hutch bill payment, I will register my mobile number on the Mobile banking facility. Every month, I will receive an SMS asking to reply ' Pay' and my current month's bill will be debited from by saving account.