Planned Intelligent Bank Robbery // How to avoid it?

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This is a scripted version of a common man who has his viewpoint for Indian banking system.

Today is the first day for the financial year 1st April and let’s plan our finance. Let me look at the bank statement for the last financial year and finding how much I earned in my saving account. I like the word saving in the saving account as it inspires me to make saving.

Oops, I opened one saving account in one of the banks with Rs 2000 that was the minimum balance and forgot to operate it. But anyways I must have earned some interest on it.

(On looking the statement) What is it? The interest earned is less than the debit card charges on the saving account. Further, my interest is taxable. This is a loss to me. I have no fined/penalty with the bank, and managed the minimum balance what bank asked and still I am in loss.  So, it was my prejudice that the saving account do saving.

The bank issued me a credit card that does not ask me to deposit any money and my so called credit card charges are waived off. So, if the credit card charges are waived off, can’t my debit card charges be? Let me check with the bank.

(Coming out of bank branch) I think I lack persuasive communication skills. These guys have not understood the common man’s common problem. I have to find the solution in a different manner. These guys don’t know what a service means?

“A Service is a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes, customer want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks” (as per ITIL v3)

The minimum estimated loss to common man just due to debit card charges by banks should be Rs 5000 crores every year.  Even I don’t understand the reoccurrence of such charges every year.

Let’s take another view. Banks issue credit card and don’t take any money from me. But then how do banks make profit? On every transaction that the customer make with the credit card, the merchant or shopkeeper pays a percentage to the bank. The percentage is about 2% or higher of the transaction.

The merchant/shopkeeper who manages the credit card facility will not do it for free. He will also keep the products or offer services at a higher price or keep higher range products/services.

A customer is getting the product/service at the mrp or lower and believes it is alright. But customer fails to understand the bank make huge profit from the credit card usage. Further shopkeepers/merchant are forced to install credit card swiping machines and pay money to banks.

There is a rise in inflation to common man with the usage of credit card. I understand that I will not use the credit card for any transaction and make payment in cash. This will not give any profit to me but you know the shopkeeper will not have to give a share to bank. If I will not do this, the shopkeeper will bring higher range products/services which have less value to the customer.

So from now onwards, as a part of financial planning, I will not have multiple saving accounts and will keep just one credit card (to be used in case of any financial urgency).

Sometimes, I think Banks do Planned Intelligent Bank Robbery where they rob customers.

Someone has to solve this problem and it is the merchant who see it as a problem. Because he sees the bank is enjoying money without doing anything except issuing credit cards.

Today, some of the food courts in shopping malls have started issuing pre-paid cards to the customer.  The concept is that the customer will get a pre-paid card on paying lets Rs 500 in cash, and can use that prepaid card on any eating outlet within that food court.  After eating from different outlets, the pre-paid card can be returned and the customer gets the balance left on card refunded in cash.

So, what the food court merchants are doing? They are breaking the credit card custom which is costly to them and as well by issuing prepaid card, there is not much changing the way the customer do shopping.

Here, merchant is willing to have cash payment and say goodbye to the banking. It is giving him profits and giving the service at low cost to the customer.

Such practice has been well appreciated by the merchants and may be sooner mall owners will follow that. Some small merchants keep a banner at the billing counter saying ‘Card accepted for Rs 1000 or higher bills only’.

Friends, this is just a work around solution of the problem. Here, the banks should understand that the transactions charges needs to be reduced else the non-standard work around solution will have non-standard problems.

Do you think?

1. Bank should waive off or reduce debit card charges?

2. Banks should reduce the transaction charges levied on the merchants?

3. Card payments add inflation to economy?

Action: Prefer cash transactions.  Share it on social networking sites, check with the financial experts. Add comments for what you think?

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