The latest trend among most Sri Lankan Banks appears to be a hurried lifting up of banners and flags to declare themselves as capable of 'digital banking'. But is this capability real? Can these Banks actually perform what they boast through their advertisements?
I don’t know whether all these Banks are telling the truth or not. But today I visited Digital Centre of People's Bank. Awesome, that’s all I can say!
Honestly, it was like stepping into another world. Colorful, vibrant, high-tech, truly digital (not limited to advertisements), end-to-end paperless banking, friendly and comfortable environment… nearly everything I expected!
First thing I remember is a kind looking lady walking over to me with a welcoming smile and asking me to take a seat. There were no formal looking office chairs, but very comfortable settees and divans. I sat.
Upon informing her my requirement which was to open a savings account, she brought forward a mini-laptop and sitting by me started her work immediately. She was courteous in her inquiries and performed the data entry part with an appreciative efficiency. She set a good example to certain lethargic staff members I have noticed in People's Bank.
All my documents such as NIC, she took photographs using the same mini-laptop. When my time came to place my signature for approval, its keyboard disappeared and became a signature pad. Unbelievable.
The lady also offered me a debit card, SMS banking facility and provided me a very comprehensive demonstration on how to operate the three ATM machines which were installed within the People's Bank Digital Centre. There are no counters! Only machines!
That’s a good thing. I am someone who hates counters. Especially People's Bank. But no more, though.
Kiosk for bill payments, fund transfers, remitting mobile cash, obtaining mini statements, etc. etc. Cash Deposit Machines for Cash Deposits, Mobile Reloads, etc. etc. ATMs for Cash Withdrawals, mobile cash withdrawals… etc. etc.
Good. At last … People's Bank has started to wake up to the call of the modern trends in banking!
Yeah, this is what I call Digital Banking!
(A new customer of the People’s Bank and a former civil servant)