Gone are the days when we made weekly or fortnightly trips to the bank to deposit a cheque or withdraw cash. Today, technology has us closer to the banking industry than ever before. Talking about personal finance goes beyond simple banking. Personal investments such as mutual funds, gold bonds, and fixed deposits come under ‘personal finance’ . In the last decade, the banking and financial services sector evolved to ensure technology is not an additional offering but a way of operation. Concepts such as neo-banks and AI-based banking are becoming a reality. In India, technology has become an integral part of personal finance. Users across age groups are dependent on these services to handle their entire asset portfolio.
Today, we will discuss the benefits of using technology and the six popular channels available in India.
Benefits of using technology
One of the most significant advantages of using technology is flexibility. Bank timings no longer restrict customers from handling their finances. One can access their account even in the middle of the night to check for balance, make payments, transfer money, etc. Another advantage is traceability. Since all the transactions are recorded, there is no hassle of searching for a passbook to know the current balance. This also helps prevent fraud and manage finances better. One can make purchases or investments based on the amount available. Finally, banking and other financial websites are completely protected by SSL certificates. This ensures that hackers cannot access your personal information. While using passbooks, it is possible to lose pieces of paper, or and anyone can find and use them to their advantage. However, with technology, there is a layer of protection. No one can access your details without a username and password.
Six popular digital channels & platforms you can use everyday
1. Online banking
It is one of the most popular methods of using technology to manage finances. As Digital India grows, its usage and facilities are growing. Accessing yearly statements, opening deposits, paying bills, and filing taxes are increasing. Every bank has a website with a secure login, allowing customers to manage their accounts from anywhere, anytime.
2. Mobile banking
An extension of online banking, mobile banking has grown tremendously in the last decade. Mobile apps, SMS banking, and missed calls/IVR are popular mobile banking modes. These services came in handy during the COVID-19 pandemic as people could do every bank-related query from the palm of their hand. This evolving communication channel is expected to grow further with new technology coming into play. Some of the more recent trends; including voice payments, cordless ATM withdrawals, and chatbots, are among the popular ones.
3. Digital payment tools
Digital Payment tools have paved the way for easy adoption of banking technology. India was creating waves with its Digital India movement and launched Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), it enables peer-to-peer transactions and person-to-merchant transactions in real time. There are several UPI apps available in the country that has a vast customer base. These reliable apps are governed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and follow the protocols set by Indian Banks Association (IBA).
4. Self-service kiosks
Self-service kiosks are gaining popularity. These machines allow customers who still prefer to have printed records of bank statements to use the bank’s facility without waiting in lines. These user-friendly machines use a barcode scanner to identify customers, thus removing the need to enter account details manually. Customers can visit their branches and print passbooks on their own.
5. WhatsApp banking
WhatsApp is part of our day-to-day lives. Understanding the need of the hour, NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) partnered with WhatsApp to launch banking services in 2020. This new facility allows customers to receive promotional messages and alerts from the bank, send banking requests as direct messages, and more.
If you are an RBL Bank customer, you can send “Hi RBL” on “84335 98888” from your registered mobile number to start using RBL Bank WhatsApp banking. This facility is available to both resident and non-resident customers. RBL Bank WhatsApp Banking can be used to get account balances, account statements, last five transactions, open new digital savings accounts, credit card offers, open fixed deposits, credit card statements, credit card limit checks, and temporarily block debit cards.
6. Goal planner/calculator
Planning your finances has never been easier. Since the advent of technology, banks and other financial institutions have created online goal calculators and planners to help achieve your goal. These calculators can develop a comprehensive financial plan based on your financial objective and help you save better. RBL Bank offers SIP investment calculator that can be used to calculate how much to invest every month to achieve your financial goals.
Steps to stay cyber safe:
- Use trusted websites – While using a bank’s website or any other e-commerce portal, check if the site reads ‘HTTPS.’ This means the site is protected, and hackers cannot misuse the information entered.
- Do not share financial information with unknown people – PAN and Aadhar card numbers are widely used now. However, sharing these details for all verification purposes is unnecessary. For instance, if you are getting a new SIM card, submit your voter ID as proof instead of an Aadhar card to safeguard your personal information.
- Be aware of online frauds – The primary reason for online fraud is the lack of awareness among people. Today, information is wealth, so it is essential to have a basic understanding of online scams. Read our blog to learn more about the various types of online frauds.
- Keep track of expenses, payments, and investments – Be vigilant while using technology. If you use credit cards or online payment methods, ensure all the charges and costs are yours. If there is a discrepancy in the statement, alert your bank immediately.