Banks are adopting new technologies in a wake to reduce the paperwork burden and customer rush at their branches. One of the methods is internet banking and phone banking. In order to promote these methods the banks like State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HSBC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are offering a slew of incentives to account holders opting for net or phone banking
There is a wide range of incentives being offered from lower charges on orders for duplicate statements, demand drafts and stop-payments to cash-backs on ticketing and utility bill or tax payments through net/ phone banking or ATMs, depending on the bank.
In order to penalize customers frequenting its branches one of the private sector bank has moved a step forward by charging RS 50 for every transaction made at a branch beyond the 12 permitted in a quarter.
This reason is more than enough for customers to transact through the alternative channels, over and above the benefits and convenience they offer.
The offers being given out by few of the banks to the customers to encourage them to use alternate channels:
SBI is offering cash-backs to customers opting to pay utility bills, purchasing air or train tickets and making tax payments through the net banking route till March 31, 2008. So much so, one can get a cash-back of Rs10 on a transaction worth Rs50, which amounts to a whopping 20%. There is a cap on the maximum cash-back one can earn, of course, at Rs500.
HDFC Bank charges Rs100 for each issuance of a duplicate account statement at the bank branch. Now the same can be obtained for Rs50 by going through an ATM or a phone (non-IVR) and for Rs30 if ordered via net banking or phone banking (IVR).
Whereas Kotak Mahindra Bank has same charge for branch and phone transactions, but the rate is slashed to half for ordering duplicate statements via ATM or internet.
While in case of ICICI Bank, a yearly (financial year) deduction of Rs200 is made for monthly delivery of physical account statements. Whereas for monthly statements through email there are no charges.
HDFC bank is offering a facility of stop payment order free of charge via phone banking whereas the bank charges Rs50 per cheque and Rs100 for a range of cheques.
However ICICI Bank has made stop-payments free for those opting for net banking.
HSBC bank is offering DD request facility free to online customers if being ordered online otherwise the bank charges 0.3% of the draft value if asked for at a branch. Likewise HDFC Bank offers a DD for Rs75 at a branch, Rs50 via phone and Rs30 through net banking. However, there could be limits on the DD amount that can be ordered via the alternate channels.
On being given all these offers it will help you cut down on your visits to the bank branch. So why go there, knowing you are not welcome, and when the same transactions could be done from the comfort of your home or at any of the ATMs. The banks have taken several security measures to make these channels safer than they used to be some time back so that customers concerned about the safety of their passwords and personal identification numbers need not worry about that and keep aback from using these facilities.