Every bank – psu or private – has 2 sets of employees – one in the branches and one in the HO. The employees in the branches are client facing, have targets, and very rigorous work schedule. The employees in the HO – in accounts, HR, and back end operations are more relaxed – in the sense that they are not physically client facing. They too have a lot of incoming calls and that is not easy, but it is surely not as tough as the client facing work which the branches do.
In a typical day in a branch like say Icici bank, Ghatkopar branch, you see the demat desk have work right from 8.30am till about 5pm. There is hardly a 5 minute respite from the same, regular job of accepting delivery instruction slip. This maybe boring work, but there is a lot of money at stake for the client and the work has to be done diligently by the person at the desk. The person who comes for giving the delivery instruction is in a hurry and the whole transaction does not take much time. However some people could come asking for a statement, or for getting some old share dematted ….etc. and could take a longer time.
Cut to an Assisstant Manager in a psu bank – say Indian Bank – Ghatkopar branch. The people who come could range from a 83 year old illiterate pension account holder to the accountant of a client who has Rs. 5 crores as fixed deposits. Again there is such a huge crowd near his table that he gets no time to have tea or go to the loo. No bank employee gets to eat his lunch at 1pm. Most banks have 3.30pm as client cut off time. So lunch is post 3.30pm. However some banks have 2 people for one counter – so one of them still get a chance to have their lunch before 3.30!
The work load at the branches can be reduced if the banks take time to TEACH the common man how to use the bank website. It is surprising that people create a lot of tech oriented stuff but are not willing to spend time and effort in training their staff and customers on how to use the technology. So banks who have so many clients, not making any attempt to spread technology is shocking – and a complete waste of time.
Why banks do not have a ‘technology teaching’ budget – perhaps part funded by the Finance Ministry / RBI is very surprising. If people can access statements, print balance as on 31st March, etc. it will save a lot of time for the employees of the bank. It will also reduce the number of people coming to the branch for routine work. In fact there should be some incentive – of say Rs. 25 per transaction if a client does it on the ATM instead of coming to the branch.
Every branch should have 3/4 young students (during vacations for sure) who will man the ‘teach technology’ to potential customers. Sure the 80 year old pensioner may not be the ideal candidate, but the 50 year old who is stepping into the branch while using a smart phone can be a good potential client. NaMo’s digitisation will not happen with just some sloganeering – somebody has to work at the grass root level and push more people to digital banking. The unions too should be happy – it reduces the load on the employees, does it not?
RBI should be happy that the number of client complaints have gone down – and all this is possible. I am wondering why I am having to say all this – is it not very very obvious?
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