The death of service

It’s uncanny that I have such encounters when reading a book on the subject.

As some of you may be aware, I am reading about the future of banking – where archaic procedures meet their nemesis in new-age agile technology.

And today, the universe conspired to demonstrate that what I read was indeed waiting to happen.

Short story – took a car loan from a leading bank here, a couple of months back. The over-enthusiastic loan seller (can’t bring myself to call them relationship managers) bundled a current account along with the loan, and why? It’s internal processs, he said. More like a bit more commission for me, I thought.

Nevertheless, they also made me sign a direct debit from my existing bank, even though the first installment of the loan was a couple of months away. You can change it later, I was told.

Come November 28th. They deduct my first installment from the current account, not from the direct debit. And that’s not all. A couple of days later, they also knock on the virtual door of my other bank, attempting to deduct money from there as well…Ahem!

Anyways, they did this 4-5 times before I decided to visit the branch and take corrective action. All good they said. And today they called me and said – err…not so good. The head of credit apparently said that I was self-employed and hence a riskier loan, and so they would continue the direct debit from the other bank and refuse to do the same from their own bank.

Am I missing something or did this sound plain stupid?

It’s things like this that make me want the pace of digital neobanks to accelerate. Enough of signing endless forms (blank ones most of them), submitting IDs again and again and still walking into such silly situations. When a bank cannot understand that money in their own vaults is better than knocking on their neighbors, something is fundamentally wrong.

Being a slave to a process makes such things happen. A process is only as good as it’s intended outcome. I would focus on achieving the outcome in the least possible steps, rather than sticking to a process just because that “is the way it has always been done”.

Customers are well connected now. People demand utility. Good service. It’s not optional.