Country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has resorted to staggering working hours to maintain social distancing in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. SBI’s Managing Director P K Gupta said they have implemented staggered time slots for banking hours across the country in consultation with state governments. “In many states, we have restricted timings of our branch opening. Like in some states, it is 7-10 AM, in some states it is 8-11 AM and in some 10 AM to 2 PM,” PTI quoted PK Gupta, Managing Director, Retail Banking, SBI.
Meanwhile, SBI is providing masks and sanitisers to its staff attending the office. The distance of at least 1 meter is being maintained in the queue. Those in the administration department are working on alternate days. The bank is also running mobile ATM services so that customers can easily take out money without visiting the ATM branches. PK Gupta shared the video of one such mobile ATM being run bu the bank for customers convenience.
SBI had also shared 7 tips, including social distancing, for all bank customers using ATM for withdrawing cash.
Several banks like HDFC, ICICI, Standard Chartered, Syndicate Bank, Indian Bank and others have revised their operating times and suspended non-essential banking services because of the rising novel coronavirus cases in the country.
Banking services like passbook updates, counter cheque collections have been restricted.
All the banks have urged their customers to use digital and online means to meet their banking requirements.
National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has also urged Indian citizens to use digital payments to reduce social contact .“In the current lock-down situation, we request citizens to stay at home. We urge all service providers of essential services and consumers to switch to digital payments methods to stay protected,” said Dilip Asbe, NPCI MD & CEO.
As the number of coronavirus cases surged above 500, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown till 14 April to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 infection.
It has claimed around 10 lives in India so far and more than 600 people are reported to have caught the virus, as per government”s latest data.
(With inputs from livemint)