As we all know that Government is insisting to move towards digitization, be it in any sector whether it is Financial, Education or even for that matter Agriculture. Government has also asked to bring to their notice the issues being faced by general public so that genuine reforms can be initiated. 

There are certain Reform matters which requires monitoring or issuance of only administrative orders which in turn will protect customers from hardships of policies which are framed and does not have any central regulations to protect the interest of general public particularly rural masses.

One of such issue is frequent increase in SMS alert charges by Banks and including mandatory SMS in chargeable category. There should be proper classification i.e. segregation  of mandatory and non mandatory SMS and Internet Banking OTP should be part of Mandatory SMS and should not be chargeable.

Whereas I noticed that in few banks, a customer has to opt for chargeable SMS alert facility in order to receive OTP for Internet Banking as there is no option in their system  to pass OTP on registered email ID of the customer.

Internet Banking is given free of cost by all banks and most of them do not have any condition like these few banks that one needs to mandatorily have chargeable SMS alert facility in order to have net banking enabled in their account ? 

Further we also feel disturbed at the unfair treatment that bank customers suffer in the form of frequent, arbitrary and one-sided decision over bank charges and also not responding to our emails i.e. maintain either silence or acknowledge it with remarks that "response will be forwarded to you soon" but they never respond unless you chase them.

As you are aware there are so many types of charges out of which certain are considered as mandatory but these differs from Bank to Bank. For example for fund transfer i.e. for internet banking OTP gets generated and the same forwarded thru SMS and this service is free in most of the banks as it falls under mandatory category whereas there are banks who do not agree and they provide this facility only if customer opts for chargeable SMS services.  

In view of above we request RBI - please classify the charges i.e. which will fall or considered mandatory as we  emphasis on the importance of having mandatory SMS free of cost by all Banks on Financial and Non Financial transactions being done by their customers as this is important component  in digitization move

Hence it is expected from RBI to make a policy around it clearly specifying which all SMSes are Mandatory (free of cost) and which all SMSes are Non Mandatory (can be made chargeable) and ask all the Banks to adhere to it. OTP SMS for Online Banking should form a part of Mandatory SMS.

In view of the above, RBI should issue fresh guidelines to all banks to upgrade their software on urgent basis and also put proper mechanism to monitor its rightly implementation i.e. a dedicated RBI department should start monitoring this up-gradation after fixing an agreed time frame.

Trust readers in their own interest will not only raise it at all possible forums but also submit to concerned authorities, requesting to pay serious attention.

G D Binani


7976870397 / 9829129011

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