This article was originally published in Postnoon on October 19th, 2012, Co-Author: Anuj Hetamsaria
Mukherjee was pacing furiously at the lounge of our building when I arrived after a long day. He generally waited for me there when he wanted to ask me something. He was an impatient man and I knew from experience that I did not have a choice. I will have to answer his questions before I was allowed to proceed to the elevator. Reluctantly, I asked him the reason for his anger.
Mukherjee: I had to transfer money to my daughter studying in Delhi for her college fees. It was urgent. I went to the bank so that I could take out cash from my account and deposit it in her account.
There was a long queue at the teller’s counter. At 1pm the teller got up and went for his lunch. I waited for half an hour for him to return. After he came back and when my turn came, he refused to let me withdraw cash with my PAN card as the amount was more than Rs50,000. I was not carrying my PAN card. By the time I came back home, took my PAN card and reached the bank again, the bank had closed. My daughter is furious with me. I am furious at the teller. Overall, I am very upset.
Nicky: Why do you need to go to the bank to transfer the money? Aren’t you registered for mobile banking?
Well you must get registered for it then. This time, you don’t have a choice. You will have to go to the bank again tomorrow morning and deposit the amount in your daughter’s account. But you must immediately apply for the username and password for mobile banking. In future, you can transfer the money to her through your mobile.
Mukherjee: Really? Is it simple? What are the things that I can do using mobile banking?
Nicky: Ofcourse. Mobile banking is becoming popular by the day. You need not wait in the queue. You need not confront any rude tellers. You can transact sitting anywhere and at anytime. You can check your account balance, see transaction history, transfer money, pay bills, etc.
Nicky: Mobile banking is very safe, if not 100 per cent. But then, nothing is 100 per cent safe! Once you register, you will get a Mobile Money Identifier (MMID). It is a unique user ID which the bank gives you. You also have a Mobile PIN, that is, a password. This MPIN needs to be changed at regular intervals for safety purposes. There are always issues like viruses attacking your mobile. But they are rare occurrences.
Mukherjee: Will this work on my mobile?
Nicky: I don’t know that. You must have a phone that is compatible with the software/application that your bank uses. The customer care of the bank will help you download the necessary software and will also be able to guide you on compatibility issues. Your phone number will be linked to your bank account number.
Mukherjee: Is it free? Or is mobile banking free?
Nicky: Well… mostly its free. Only a few may charge a small fee. But even if there is a small fee, its worth it because it saves time and effort or physically going to the bank.