During the Covid lockdown, apart from the Police and the Health workers who are being hailed as “Covid Warriors”, there are also another industry where the employees are keeping the services going despite the enormous risks that the employees are facing. That industry is “Banking”.
Banks have not closed down even during the severe lockdown conditions and for some time there was alternate day working in some Banks. However some banks have now started daily working ignoring the risks posed to the employees.
Though Banks have digitized their operations and the branch transactions have reduced, some Banks appear to be not taking appropriate measures required to ensure that employees and the customers donot get infected by contact during the physical banking transactions.
Even in places like Mumbai where the Corona infections are on the higher side, some Banks have not taken the necessary measures to curtail the foot falls in the Branches. Reserve Bank of India does not seem to have made any efforts to properly advise the Banks in this regard.
This is high time that customers are advised to make most of their transactions through online and where necessary, contact the Branch manager through video calls.
The employees should be able to log in remotely from their residences to complete the routine transactions. Even the banking transactions can be done through the internet banking system with suitable modifications where an authorized employee with appropriate access controls based on biometrics, face recognition and digital signatures or e-sign, to log in to the Banking system and conduct shadow transactions which can be later integrated with the CBS after a time delay.
It appears that in the last 3 months, no effort has been made either by REBIT or IDRBT to introduce such alternate secure methods by which employees can work from home.
The CBS software suppliers which include the major Indian companies also could have worked out a supplementary interface which could enable secure log in to the system remotely without sacrificing the security aspects.
The lack of innovative initiatives from individual Banks and the RBI is disappointing.
In order to understand the preparedness of the Banks to meet a prolonged lockdown, Naavi.org would like to conduct a survey inviting responses from Banks and other professionals in the area to elicit the following kind of information.
I would be happy if the readers can submit the following information.
In this connection I am conducting an online survey and would like to know your responses for the following.