Banks the Lifeline
Banks are the stepping stones.
In the early days banking remained simple. Banks accepted deposits from public and disbursed loans against suitable securities..In the process earned profit.But as times changed and with increased competition from more and more branches the banks also changed. The advent of technology enabled banks to shift from manual banking to technology driven banking.This shift in process helped banks to introduce new products as also overhaul the existing ones.ATM s made life easier and customers could withdraw cash from their accounts any time in the day. The necessity to visit bank branches was considerably reduced after introduction of mobile banking, internet banking and phone banking.Today the customer visits to physical bank branches has substantially reduced.Those customers who are dealing with banks since the past 40/50 years will vouch for the rapid changes the banking has undergone.
The Indian banking sector is hugely dominated by the public sector banks, new generation private sector banks and old generation private sector banks. Local level cooperative banks are catering to rural areas along with Regional rural banks. Banks today offer the following deposit and loan services : 1.Current accounts.2,savings bank accounts.3.fixed deposit accounts.4.Recurring deposit accounts.They also sanction loans for small and large business, self employed persons, medium, small and micro industries. As for individuals banks sanction housing loans, vehicle loans, consumer loans, education loans and other need based loans.
Other ancillary services:
Apart from the above the banks offer other fee based services like safe deposit lockers, collection of direct and indirecttaxes,electricity and telephone bills, property tax etc thereby touching our daily life through their services.The most common and useful service which most of us avail every now and then is the “Jewel loans”..we can pledge our jewels to meet any unforeseen expenses and get cash within minutes. The rate of interest is very reasonable and loan amount is also high.
No frills and minor accounts:
Banks open no frills account aimed at economically weaker sections who cannot afford to keep higher amounts as minimum balance in their savings accounts.Lower minimum balance is fixed for these account with some restrictions on credits per year and number of cash drawings from account. Children above 10 years of age are allowed to open savings accounts with some safeguards.It is worth our time and efforts to know in detail about each of the above schemes as we can transact in all of them sitting at home without even visiting the bank branch. Opening a bank account and having satisfactory transactions for at least a year is immensely satisfying and will speak volumes about our financial position which nobody else can.
Once we open our account/s we should talk to the staff there and try to know what are our rights and responsibilities as an account holder, how to get our problems solved etc. we should clearly understand the charges that banks normally levy for their services, penal charges for our failure to comply with any stipulations. This will help in avoiding any future problems and irritations in the banker-customer relation ship.
We will move on to the different schemes and their benefits in the coming weeks.