Earlier, whenever we used to talk about banking, we use to think of old infrastructure, age old  bankers, and a lot of time required for depositing or withdrawing cash or issuance of a demand  draft/pay orders etc. As the time progressed lots of all round changes such as advancement of technology, changes in  policies regarding customer service and fraud prevention took place. Volume of transactions  increased rapidly thus demanding change in those fundamental framework. 

The banking scenario has headed towards much advanced level termed as New Generation Banking.  Hats off to the Direct banking channels which have effectively reduced the time taken and the risk involved and made the entire banking operations much more smoother.  

Direct banking channels

All the scheduled commercial banks have grown manifold over a period of time in all aspects such as Smart banking with the use of latest technology, fraud preventions, service quality, turn around time, customer complaint handling, information of account transactions through SMS, cross selling of other co-branded products which fetches handsome revenues to the bank, etc. 

Many direct banking channels have evolved such as Internet banking, Mobile banking, ATMs, Phone banking which enable customers to do most of their transactions without going to the bank.These channels also provide the details all other products taken by one customer from the same bank such as demat accounts, loan accounts, fixed/recurring deposits, current accounts, mutual funds etc.These banking channels can be viewed as follows :

1. Internet Banking  : 

It is a channel based on internet. A login Id (which is usually the customer id of the customer with his respective bank) and a password is issued to the customer. With the use of the id and password one can go to the bank's website and login to access his account details such as account balance, statement, debit card linked to his account, credit card details, demat account details,Mutual fund holdings etc and he/she can also process the request for chequebook issuance, DD/Pay order issuance, enabling of fund transfer facilities etc. Net-Banking consists of two options :

a) View Only 

b) View and Transact or fund transfer

The first option, enables them to view their statement and other above mentioned details and can punch those aforesaid requests as well. While the second option (View and transact or fund transfer) allows them to do any kind of transactions including fund transfer within same bank/Card to card transfer/bill payments/NEFT/RTGS (Trf of funds from one bank to another) along with all above 
discussed facilities.

However, it is always advisable not to go for the transaction facility as it is vulnerable to many kinds of frauds which is termed as Net fishing. Still if fund transfer facility is necessary for them, then it must be noted that these passwords are highly confidential and should be changed frequently to avoid any misuse. Customers must ensure that they receive this password in intact condition or else the home branch must be intimated immidiately.

2. ATM (Automated Teller Machines) :

 This channel is popularly known as Any Time Money as one can withdraw cash from ATM round the clock. It is a channel in which the transactions can be done through the ATM machines installed by the bank at various places. An ATM/ ATM cum Debit card is issued to the customers along with a PIN number (Personal Identification Number). The card needs to be inserted in the ATM machines and when asked, the four digit Pin Number is punched which then directs the customer to the main menu where he has the various options to chose from such as Balance enquiry,mini statement, pin change, cash withdrawal, chequebook request, card to card transfer, bill payments etc. ATM and Debit cards are different from each other in the following manner :

a) ATM Card : It is a card issued by the bank through which only the cash can be withdrawn from the ATM.

 b) ATM cum Debit card : It is a card through which money can be withdrawn as well as payments can  be made at Point of Sales (POS) for the purchases made.

3. Phone Banking : 

It is another channel of banking which allows the users to know the details of the account as well as enjoy almost all the facilities mentioned in point 1 including hotlisting or blocking of the ATM/debit card in case of loss or theft. A TPIN(Telephone Pin) is issued by the bank to customers if requested, through which one can even do fund transfer (subject to certain limit specified by the bank) over the phone. It may be noted that few banks offer the facility of Address Change through phone banking channel.

4. Mobile Banking :

 It is also a part of new generation banking which fecilitates the customer to do bill payments through mobile, know the balance of the account(s), chequebook request, know last 5-10 
transactions, fund transfers etc. Like the phone banking, a security password is issued which is required to be filled when asked for in order to execute these transactions.

5.SMS Alerts :

 It is a small yet effective offer by the bank in which all the transactions done by the customers  through the above mentioned channels are intimated to them through SMS on their mobile number  registered with the bank.


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