Why Banks Need More Holidays?
This s a common conversation in most households. “Hi Amma! This is third Saturday right? Our bank will be working right?” Though digitalization is being implemented with full swing, a consideration population still relies on banks for their financial needs. However, a point to be noted is that banks want more holidays nowadays. Yes, for the uninitiated, Finance Ministry has received a request from Indian Banks Association (IBA) that their long-existing demand for a five-day working week be exercised. Since 2015, banks work on first and third Saturdays of each month. Second and fourth Saturdays are closed. And for fifth Saturday, it is considered to be a working day.
Now the question that will arise in a concerned citizen’s mind is: why do banks want so many holidays? Undoubtedly, bankers are stressed with all the transactions, and a school of thought will agree that their demand can be fulfilled. Banking professionals generally have the responsibility of managing heavy financial transactions and should ensure that regulatory compliances are met. Customer concerns should be met diligently. When provided a 5-day holiday, it could be a great relaxation for these professionals. On the personal side, it could foster a healthier work-life balance.
And now let’s empathize with the customers. From complex financial transactions to seeking personalized advice, customers value the expertise and confidence provided by face-to-face interactions with banking professionals. In this context, it’s a thing of concern that toll free numbers for every institution, while intended to facilitate communication, cause stress to the customers. Customers have to endure prolonged wait times; endless automated menus and extend hold periods can aggravate the sense of impatience and dissatisfaction. Moreover, customers who rely on banking support on Saturdays may find a challenge to their convenience. The very relief that they get when thinking that Saturday can be set aside for banking transactions will now take a twist.
Implementing a five-day work week may result in improved service quality as bankers would be more rejuvenated and will have high focus. However, the problem is also in the form of adjusting to a compressed schedule. Customers will swarm in the bank on the 5 days and there will be longer wait times. To address this, banks can extends the times on weekdays.
My blogs always focus on empathy and I conclude that a balanced view of the necessity of a five-day work week is necessary. There should be focus on the well-being of bankers and the convenience of the customers, simultaneously providing optimized services. The banks can invest more on digital services, creating a seamless and accessible platform for customers on non-operational days. But there is still a considerable section of the population that is apprehensive towards digital banking which needs to be addressed.