24X7 access to bank lockers

24X7 access to bank lockers

You don’t have to be at the mercy of your bank’s business hours if you want to access your locker at the bank branch, at least not if you are an IDBI Bank Ltd’s customer.

IDBI Bank launched its 24X7 hours locker facility with biometric (fingerprint) access on Monday at its Cuffe Parade branch in Mumbai. Addressing the press at the inaugural function of the facility, IDBI Bank’s chairman and managing director R.M. Malla said, “We are the first bank in the world to have a 24X7 locker facility with biometric access. In the future we will also add iris scanning to this facility."

However, IDBI Bank is not the first to offer its customers a 24X7 locker facility as such. Standard Chartered Bank has a branch in Breach Candy, Mumbai, which is open round the clock and, therefore, the locker facility is also available 24X7.

What’s the benefit

Since it’s a 24X7 facility, you can walk in any time and get access to the contents of your locker, barring three public holidays—26 January, 15 August and 2 October.

Biometric access works as an additional layer of security. The bank also provides a special dressing room with arrangement for refreshments round the clock.

How it works

After completing the account opening formalities, your fingerprint will be captured on the biometric machine. You will also get a biometric card with your fingerprint on it. To access the facility, you will have to use the card as well as your hand to gain access. In case, there are joint account holders to the locker, a separate card will be issued to the joint account holder. But don’t forget your locker keys.

What’s the cost

Says K.C. Jani, executive director, IDBI Bank, “The charges for the facility is in the range of 15,000 to 45,000 depending on the size of the locker." Regular locker charges in most public sector banks is in the range of 1,000 to 3,000 per year.

If you maintain an average quarterly balance of 5 lakh with the bank, you will get a discount of 10% on the biometric locker rent. On maintenance of 20 lakh, the discount will be 20%.

Sizes: The lockers are available in different sizes—large, extra large, super extra large, king large and king extra large. While the depth of the locker is 492mm, the height is in the range of 189-385mm and the width 263-530mm.

A senior banker from an Indian private sector bank, who did not wish to be named, says, “So far, biometrics has been used for financial inclusion purposes for the lowest section of the society. The fact that the technology has been brought to regular customers is good. It will work as an added level of security and risk of impersonalization and signature forgery will be mitigated. But how many Indian customers would want to access their lockers at night is anybody’s guess."

The facility comes as another step to facilitate transaction ease in the banking sector.

bindisha.s@livemint.com

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