A win-win model for banks & customers

As banks have revised their tariffs sharply upwards for customer transactions, it has created furore amongst customers who consider the charges to be excessive.

If Banks believe that it costs them to provide these services and hence need to be passed on to the customers, let us accept it on principle. Having said that, there needs to be a sense of fairness and equity in charging for these services.

I propose the model of “Annualizing the count of transactions as basis of charging”

  1. For example, if upto 4 ATM Transactions there are no charges, then Banks must agree to 48 ATM Transactions in a financial year without any charge. For example, even if a customer uses an ATM (let’s assume same bank ATM for simplicity) 10 times in a month, he should not be charged until he crosses 48 ATM transactions in the entire year.
  2. Likewise, for cash deposits. If customers can deposit cash 3 times in a month without any charge, then they should be allowed to do so without any charge 36 times in a year.
  3. And the customers must have the facility to know the count of their ATM (own bank/other bank), cash deposit transactions till date.  That way, they can plan ahead and not be surprised when they face the charges for exceeding.

Corollary to the above:

  • If a customer is unable to withdraw cash in an ATM because the ATM did not have any money, that should not    be counted as a Transaction for the purpose of the charges.
  • Likewise, if a customers checks his balance prior to withdrawal in the same session, that should be treated as just 1 ATM Transaction.

Can we now have a discussion?


Profit at one third the cost??


I wanted to send a stack of forms to someone locally.  Normally I would do it by courier but today I wanted to explore options.  I went to a Post Office and asked the person to tell me how much stamps I must affix for the letter.  She asked me “which place?”.  Surprised that she should ask that, I said ‘Chennai only” and she said “Rs.45”.  I thought I didn’t hear her properly and told her “I don’t want speed post or registered post.  Just ordinary post”.  She looked at me as if I was bitten by a mad dog and retorted “Rs.45 for ordinary post only.  Registered post will cost Rs.17 extra”.  Chastened, I left the post office with the thought that prices have escalated so much


In fact, i was wondering how much the couriers would charge and with a great deal of trepidation, I approached a collection centre.  The person there was more concerned about the contents than the weight or the cost and when I showed him that it was a set of harmless forms, he said “That will be Rs.15 and change please”.  Lest I dig my own grave by asking him again, I handed over the exact change and left with the receipt.

Now this is really strange!!  For a delivery of an article without any commitment of time or guaranteed delivery, the post office is asking me to pay thrice the amount that the courier charges for delivering it the next day (actually the day after because tomorrow being Christmas is a holiday) and I know it will be delivered for sure.

The irony is “our post offices being run by Government are not-for-profit while the couriers are only-for-profit”.

Are we missing something?

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