Financial institutions in Nepal make a hefty profit every fiscal year which, on one hand, is due to their hard work, and, on other hand, is by being ignorant. At times, where patrons should be compensated, are made to pay. This enigma came in my mind after an incident, which perhaps happens to many customers.
Undoubtedly, the banking features have gone advanced with the time, making our life easy. With the installation of Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in nooks and crannies have given us the financial supremacy when it comes to cash related transactions. I am a frequent ATM user, as I rightly believe that more the money remains in the bank’s coffer, more interest it yields. One day, I went to an ATM booth, other than to my bank to withdraw Rs 20,000, as my bank allows free transaction. Everything went fine, however, when it was time to dispense the cash, it took long. The sting in the tail, after doing all the hard work, card came out, not the cash. I didn’t care much, and got the required cash from another booth.
What awestruck me was, when I received a message on my phone that my account was debited of the amount which the ATM did not dispense. When I called the bank, they told me to wait for 24 hours, and the money will be reverted. I had no choice, but to wait.
To my dismay, even after the allotted time, the response was negative. I called again, and they asked me to stop at any branch to fill a claim form. With much reluctance, I showed up, and did the paper work.
The customer representative told me that it could take up to 45 days for the money to retrieve as they have to verify all aspects to make sure that it was a valid claim. Since all the ATMs should mandatorily have CCTVs, so I was confident that I was right.
Eventually, the money was retrieved in my account after 22 days for which I am thankful to the bank. Wait! Should I be thankful or not? Without having any fault, during this procedure, I invested some capital in terms of time and money. Taking away time, I invested around Rs 103.44. Let break it down: 2 phone calls for Rs.4, parking fee Rs 20, and Rs 79.44 for interest during those 22 days at 6.5 per cent per annum. Here is an exclusion of labour cost and time spent, which too have value. Basically, in this case, I paid the price for someone else’s mistake, and since financial institution are disregarding this fact, it is always adding to their surging profit.
A version of this article appears in print on January 23, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.