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Banks working on digitising locker agreements 

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With the September 30 deadline of getting the signature of least 50 per cent of their locker holders on a revised agreement looming, banks are internally working on a process to get the agreements signed digitally.

According to highly placed sources, individually banks may not have obtained signatures of even 30 per cent of existing locker holders for the revised locker agreements. Collectively for the banking system, the adoption of these new agreements for existing customers is estimated to be much less.

New pacts

To expedite the process, banks are exploring whether the new agreements could be signed digitally.

Aadhaar-enabled signature verification, email confirmation and confirmation through SMS are some of the possibilities that banks are exploring.

“We have communicated our plans to pursue the revised locker agreements through digital consent mode and the regulator is okay with this in priciple,” said a senior executive of a private bank.

Banks are now working on the best possible modes of obtaining consent and signatures of locker customers digitally.

“Back-end systems are being put in place to find out how best we can do this digitally.

“In a week or two, forms or processes involved in obtaining the signatures digitally will be rolled out,” said a CEO of a public sector bank.

A few weeks back, India’s largest bank, State Bank of India, said it is working on digitising the revised locker agreements.

Private sector banks, especially those which have come up in the last 20 years, may find the process of digitising the signatures or finding an alternative to get the locker customers physically sign the revised agreement less cumbersome.

Challenges

While there is some redundancy with respect to residence and/or email addresses, the traceability of customers is still seen better because in most cases they would have an additional banking relationship apart from just the locker or the related fixed deposit.

“The possibility of contacting and communicating with the customers is quite high,” said CEO of a private bank. The challenge is with public sector banks, where senior citizens would account for more than 50 per cent of operational lockers and they may not be traceable through a mobile number or email address.

“Identification of customers get more challenging as we approach tier 3/4/5 cities,” said a banker aware of the matter.

Pointers

Digitally signing new locker agreements

Banks exploring the possibility of obtaining consent and signature of locker customers for revised agreements

Aadhaar-enabled signature verification, email confirmation and confirmation through SMS are some of possibilities currently explored

New agreements will have to be in place by December 31, 2023.

All existing customers should be notified by April 30, 2023

By June 30 & September 30, 50 per cent and 75 per cent of existing customers should have signed the new agreement



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