I am a US Qualified Registered Microbiologist-Medical Technologist, operating my own Clinical Lab. I have been an activist advocating consumer, civic, citizen's rights for Thirty plus years & a Frequent contributor to the letters to Editor.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bank computerization boon or bane?-LEDS 25Oct2009

In the frenzy of computerization, all the banks are switching over to centralized clearing.
This instead of improving, speeding up bank transactions, appears to be working otherwise looking at customer experiences.
Checks are being returned despite having sufficient funds, from correct accounts and proper signatures.
It is not yet clear to us as whether this centralized clearing is separate for individual banks or common for all. Eitherway efficiency and service are the victims and customers suffer.
Scanned card signatures are being compared on a computer screen, as opposed to a physical card.
The quality of the scanner, signature, screen resolution, sheer numbers to be scrutinized, training, experience and ability of the some unknown operator somewhere decide in a fraction of a second the fate of these checks.
In my own experiences with Canara bank, the last name in a joint account was totally missing, forget the signature, a ECS valid since 8 years was returned due to this advance technology. In State Bank of Mysore, the signed checks are cleared over the counter, while A/C payee deposited checks of the same individual are returned.
Earlier atleast, the branch used to scrutinize the signature and consider the customer's standing and normal variations in signature pattern. Now this personal touch is totally missing.
As a result Canara Bank, State Bank of Mysore and others are opening up their customers to unjust, unfair criminal charges due to their system failure.
We the customers have repeatedly experienced that technological progress does not translate into improved service or efficiency.Anyone who has tried to get a passbook updated in any bank now a days can vouch for that.
It requires atleast three or more visits and waits of half an hour or longer per account per branch, because "Printer is out of order".
Courts should make the Banks the primary defendants if criminal charges are pressed against customers.
Banks should wake up to the deteriorating conditions.


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