Coronavirus in Mumbai: Forget going to the ATM or banks, avail banking services at your doorstep, nearest kirana stores

Mumbai: In a bid to avoid rush and human contact at vegetable markets amid lockdown, several housing societies have brought the vendors at their doorstep with the help of local politicians. Following cue, housing societies can now avail banking service directly at their society premises or through general stores, medical stores, dairy shops, BPCL outlets etc.

Himanshu Mishra, Sr. Divisional Head, Western and Central Region, Fino payment bank said that in the past one month they have provided direct banking services to over 118 housing societies in their premises.

Mishra explained, "With this service, the residents of the society can withdraw money or do other banking transactions, which includes opening a bank account by paying a minimal subscription fee. Interestingly, through this banking facility, one can even withdraw a minimum of Rs 20 unlike the general ATM which requires at least Rs 100 note withdrawal."

At a Goregoan-based higher income group's MHADA housing society, this banking service was availed. A resident, Abhijit Mishra said, "We have six wings, which houses 142 flats in the society. When the service provider came to our society, we made a timely schedule on WhatsApp groups and residents accordingly visited the service providers. By following strict safety measures and social distancing the households withdrew the cash instead of going to the ATM or banks."

Interestingly, this new age banking service is very much in use in rural areas and remote villages where there are a few banks or no banks available. With the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and Mumbai being the top most hotspot city in the state, this facility is receiving a lot of demand, said the service provider. Apart from providing direct banking facilities in residential societies, the service holder has about 7,000 merchant points who are shopkeepers and small retailers.

Furthermore Mishra acknowledged that many times it happens that the debit card which was in use suddenly shows some errors and needs to be replaced. In such cases the person has to visit his homebranch and do the banking activity. However at our place by just telling our representatives the Aadhaar number which is usually linked to the bank account they can get some cash. "In lockdown, this feature is really very helpful as banks are operational but with minimum staff strength. Besides, migrants also can get some cash from their linked bank account in case of no debit card with them. Besides, we are also organising camps at national highways to assist migrants," he said.

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