Sunday, November 21, 2010

Which are better? Complaints or Compliments.

 Which are better? Complaints or Compliments.

I have observe that most Indian Public Sector Banks, Private Sector Banks (Old and New), encourage customers to lodge complaints but not compliments.
Majority of the Banks have Redressal of Customer Complaints mechanism, but very few have Redressal of Customer Compliments mechanism.

Examples : -
Public Sector Bank – United Bank of India :
Only the complaints link is visible in the left hand column

Public Sector Bank – Bank of Baroda
Only the Redressal of Customer Complaints link, is visible in the last part of the webpage

Private Sector Bank – IDBI Bank
Only the Customer Corner Tab is highlighted in the Header. On clicking on the Tab, only the procedure to lodge complaints is mentioned


Foreign Bank – Citi Bank

The Customer Care Tab is highlighted in the main header. On clicking on the same, at the below right corner customers are encourage to share success stories.


New Private Sector Bank – ICIC Bank.

ICICI Bank excepts customer to lodge complaints and also share compliments.
The link is on left column on the Bank’s website.

This phenomenon is not restricted to Banking Industry, but also prevalent in other sectors too.

Do we Indians, shy away from compliments i.e receiving and lodging compliments. And more comfortable with complaints?

Customer Service Representatives morale at front-offices is boosted on receiving compliments. Compliments also enable the Product Design Teams, to structure innovative Products, for enhanced customer delight.

It is high time, Banks encourage compliments too.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Andhra Bank - Launching of “Upset” Service - SMS

Andhra Bank - Launching of “Upset” Service to resolve customer complaints/ grievances through Short Messaging Services (SMS).

Andhra Bank has revamped its web-site. It is more clutter-free now and  eye-catching. The tabs are well designed, and navigating is comfortable.

The best part of the website to me is Customer Corner – right side of the webpage.
The UPSET tab increased my curiosity.
Click on this link for an remarkable experience.

Of course, Andhra Bank is not the first bank to experiment this complaint feature. The pioneer in India, is State Bank of India, Andhra Pradesh Circle, with UNHAPPY as its punch line.

However, other Banks have not adopted this, hence, Andhra Bank should be appreciated for its customer-centric efforts.

Andhra Bank is a 87+ year Bank with 1500 + Branches.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bank of Maharashtra 'e-banking lounge'

Bank of Maharashtra 'e-banking lounge'

Bank of Maharashtra - ONE FAMILY ONE BANK has launched   'e-banking lounge' on 15th November, 2010.
Initially this new generation banking experience will be available at Connaught Place in Delhi, Gadkari Chauk in Mumbai and Deccan Gymkhana in Pune

What is ‘e-banking lounge’?
‘e- banking lounge’ provides the facility to customers to do selected banking transactions online through 3-G (Third Generation) technology-enabled computers.

The lounge is within the branch premises only, but customers can carry out their routine banking transactions on their own.

‘e-banking lounge’ will help them deposit cheques through cheque deposit machines and they can get the statement of account printed on their own without the help of branch staff.   

Basing on the customer’s feedback the ‘e-banking lounge’ might be extended to other branches. I feel for the Bank to experience the full benefits of ‘e-banking lounge’, the same should be away from the Branches and not within the Branch premises.

Bank of Maharashtra is a 75 + years Bank, with 1500 + branches. It’s Head Office is in Pune, Maharastra.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Speed Clearing - Warning

Speed Clearing - Warning
All customers are requested to keep the necessary funds available in their  account as soon as a cheque are  issued from their  side.

As all Bank Customers are familiar with Cheque Clearing, I will not write in detail about Cheque Clearing.

Before the Banks moved to Core-Banking Solution (CBS), the 1 major problem faced by Bank customers were the delay in Cheque Collection coupled with the high cheque collection costs.

To reduce the cheque clearing cycle, Reserve Bank of India, had introduced the National Clearing (Inter-City Clearing)

National Clearing is an arrangement under which the Clearing Houses managed by RBI provide inter-city cheque collection service to member banks of those clearing Houses.

With the entry of new private sector banks, the Indian Banking system saw the emergence of CBS.

To leverage the benefits of CBS, Reserve Bank of India, in 2008, introduced the Speed Clearing
RBI’s FAQ’s on Speed Clearing are @

"Speed Clearing" leverages the technology of core or centralized banking solution (CBS) of banks which enables them to access details of all account holders from any branch.

How is Speed Clearing an improvement over National Clearing ?
In case of National clearing the cheque is realized in around a week's time. Under the Speed clearing, it would be realized on T+1 or 2 basis viz. within 48 hour s.

National Clearing is restricted to cheques drawn on the specified locations. Speed Clearing has no geographical limitation. Cheques drawn on any location may be cleared as long as the branch is in CBS.

National Clearing necessitates movement of the cheque to the Drawee centre. Speed Clearing facilitates the clearing of such cheques locally without the need to move the cheques to the Drawee centre.
How does the Speed Clearing work ?
Banks have networked their branches by implementing Core Banking Solutions (CBS). In CBS environment, cheques can be paid at any location obviating the need for their physical movement to the Drawee branch. The concept Speed Clearing combines the advantages of MICR clearing with CBS.

Cheques drawn on outstation CBS branches of a Drawee bank can be processed in the Local Clearing under the Speed Clearing arrangement if the Drawee bank has a branch presence at the local centre.
As more banks moved to CBS, the number of Bank Branches under Speed Clearing saw a tremendous growth.

At present, Speed Clearing is offered at 66 locations and the number of Bank Branches are 41,000 +.

Initially, in 2008, there was a general skepticism as to whether Speed Clearing would succeed or not.

Yes, there were complaints from both the Bankers as well as the customers. But, with passage of time, all the participants’ i.e Bank’s, Bank Branches’, Customer’s understood the benefits of the Speed Clearing and each did their bit to promote Speed Clearing.

The main reasons for the initial complaints were
01)                      Branches were on CBS, but the Signatures were NOT scanned in the Accounts. Hence, cheques had to be returned with the reason ‘No Signature’.

02)                      Cheque leaves were not linked to the respective accounts in the CBS. Hence, cheques had to be returned with the reason NOT ISSUED/NOT IN RANGE etc.

03)                      Upcountry customers usually expected cheques to be received for payment at their base branches after 10 days of the Cheque Date. So, funds were accordingly arranged. In Speed Clearing, the cheques  hit their accounts within 1-2 days of the Cheque Date.  And, as the customer’s were not expecting this, the cheques got returned with the reason INSUFFICIENT FUNDS.

04)                      Non-MICR cheques were not part of Speed Clearing, even though the Branches were under CBS. However, as still many Non-MICR cheques were issued by the Banks, these cheques got returned. Slowly, Banks started to request RBI to allot MICR Codes for their branches, which in turn enabled Banks to issue MICR Cheques.
Once, they become familiar with Speed Clearing, they planned their funds cycle accordingly.

Speed Clearing Charges: -
Upto and inclusive of Rs.1,00,000/- : Free

Rs.1,00,001/- and above : Rs.150/- per instrument plus service tax as applicable

Instruments processed through Speed Clearing :
a.     Instruments with Transaction codes 10,11,and 13.
b.     Only MICR instruments to be processed.

Instruments not a part of Speed Clearing :
a.     Demand Drafts
b.     Non-MICR Cheques
c.      Cheques drawn on a bank or bank branch which is not part of SCS

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