No more waiting in queues

Talk about examinations and one experience most students of Anna University will not easily forget is standing in a long queue to pay the fee. “Especially as the deadline for the payment approaches, the queue at the bank inside the campus extends beyond the canteen, which is a quite distance,” says Sudha, a student of the university. Going to a particular bank, filling out the challan, standing in the specified counter to get the demand draft is perhaps the last thing one would want to do in today's technology-enabled world.

Demand draft, which is a popular mode to transfer funds or make payment, is slowly losing its sheen. Increasingly, educational institutions and organisers of national-level examinations are encouraging electronic mode of transfer or net banking facility for payment of fee for recruitment tests and academic exams. Loyola College introduced “payment gateway” a few months ago, for the evening batch students. From 100 DD transactions it usually did a day, the demand has come down to 30-35 a day, says an executive of Indian Overseas Bank inside the college campus. The Tamilnadu Dr. MGR Medical University also started a similar process some months ago for students seeking completion certificates. At the national level too, Public Service Commissions and bank examinations have switched to online payments making the DDs almost obsolete.

Bank officials agree that DD is a dying product for them. “Many frauds have occurred on small value DDs, so we discourage it. Also, the traditional process of getting an acknowledgment, sending it via courier/post … it is quite cumbersome,” says a senior official of IOB.

From the customer point of view, accepting DDs only added to loss of interest sometimes for weeks together. “If you want to manage money efficiently, online mode is the best. DD is bound to die a slow death,” says a senior official of State Bank of India. Though many more educational institutions are planning to introduce such e-friendly initiatives, banks say one concern is the issue of hacking.

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