Banking services for the 70 million differently abled people in the country will be more friendly with the recent revision in banking norms by the central bank's Banking Codes & Standards Board of India (BCSBI), an official said here Thursday.
Nearly 50 percent of the country's persons with disabilities (PWDs) are under the age of 30 and constantly struggle for respectable employment as well as proper banking services.
The BCSBI has decided to aggressively encourage banks to be more sensitized towards PWDs through its revised norms, said its CEO N. Raja.
Accordingly, all banks will make best efforts to make banking easy and convenient for these special customers like senior citizens, PWDs and illiterate persons through convenient policies, products and services.
This will include developing systems and procedures to improve access to banking services, more convenient physical access to branches and ATMs, and friendly staff interacting with them at various levels.
The banks would accord priority to PWDs by providing personalized services for banking transactions, redressal of grievances, seating arrangements in the bank premises and endeavour to introduce a single-window mechanism and issue of cheque books, netbanking, lockers, etc, without discrimination.
The PWDs shall also be entitled to withdrawals of funds up to limits by their authorized representatives, avail 'doorstep banking' in special circumstances like ill health or inability to come to the branches.
For the pensioner PWDs, the banks will issue a pension slip containing full details of the pension credited to their account and arrange to disburse the pension at their doorstep under special circumstances.
Moreover, banks would accept Life Certificate, required to be submitted by PWDs at any branch and guide relatives or parents on how to appoint a legal guardian under the National Trust Act, 1999 for persons suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities.
Raja admitted that accessibility and inclusion of PWD remains a challenge in India in most sectors, including bus and railways stations, public places like shopping plazas, lack of proper toilets, etc.
"BCSBI recognises the need for mainstreaming these persons into the formal banking sector and encourages the banks to share the provisions of the code orally or in writing with such customers, at the time of opening the bank account," Raja assured.