With cell phones becoming a crucial part of banking, the RBI has made it mandatory for banks to allow customers to register their mobile numbers through any ATM. Banks have also been told not to insist that customers visit only their home branch to get their mobile numbers registered and to have this facility for customers across branches. In addition, banks have also been advised to make available mobile registration through internet banking.
Registering mobile numbers (linking numbers to bank accounts) is important because it facilitates SMS alerts for every transaction and helps curb fraud. Mobile numbers are also used to send one-time passwords (OTPs) in transactions where the credit card is not present. Banks also require online remittances to be authenticated with OTPs.
According to credit card companies, SMS alerts and OTPs have substantially brought down frauds in banking. Banks also require customers to register their mobile numbers to avail of services like ‘Missed Call banking’and ‘Mobile Banking’. A registered mobile number is a prerequisite for using a mobile banking application.
Earlier in September 2016, RBI had made it mandatory for banks to get customers registered for alerts for electronic banking transactions. This was part of its draft guidelines on limiting liability of customers in fraudulent electronic banking transactions. Under these guidelines, the longer the time taken to notify the bank, the higher will be the risk of loss to the customer. To facilitate early reporting, banks were asked to provide 24×7 accesses through multiple channels for reporting fraudulent transactions. Until recently, banks had been insisting that customers visit their home branch for registering their mobile number. This turned out to be an impediment for those who had retained their bank account even after moving to different cities.
The mobile registration facility in an ATM is made available either in the main menu or under ‘other services’. Since the directive was issued a few weeks ago, banks have brought on board more than 80% of the 2.22 lakh ATMs in the country.
However, a few ATMs, where remote updating is not possible still do not provide the service.