In a coronavirus-hit world, you can no longer afford to take the risk of having face-to-face meetings with strangers. Here are two simple ways to avail credit without stepping out of your home.
Loan account openings have traditionally been offline processes. You meet the bank, hand over your photocopied documents such as ID and address proofs, pay the processing fees by cheque, sign your loan application, and wait for it to process. You must complete the KYC process, which is a legal requirement for new account openings. Once your application is processed and your identity established, you receive your funds.
In a coronavirus-hit world, the problem here is the offline meeting with the bank. You can no longer afford to take the risk of having face-to-face meetings with strangers. With a lockdown in your area, it also not be possible to do so. At the same time, it’s become critical for businesses and self-employed individuals to seek credit in order to revive their professional activities that have been hampered by the pandemic.
Here are two simple ways to avail credit without stepping out of your home.
Go To Lenders Providing Contactless Loans
We have entered the age of contactless finance and contactless lending. Contactless finance means not having to physically meet your bank’s representative. This is in line with every other contactless form of commerce occurring right now due to the coronavirus crisis. For example, deliveries made to your doorstep by online grocers are also being done contactlessly in order to eliminate the chances of infection. Look for banks that are currently providing loans through digital KYC methods.
Digital KYC includes the use of Aadhaar OTP-based e-KYC as well as the recently launched Video KYC process being used by some banks. These digital KYC methods allow banks to authenticate customers remotely, without the need for physical meetings or even the handing of photocopied documents. The RBI had approved a Video KYC process in January. In light of the ongoing crisis, banks have started using the process to acquire new customers digitally to beat the various on-ground challenges such as the lockdown.
Check For Pre-Approved Offers
One of the simplest ways to avail credit is to leverage your existing relationships with banks and financial institutions. You may already have pre-approved offers from banks where you own savings accounts. The offers may relate to personal loans and credit cards as well. In order to smoothen the process of loan disbursal, banks and financial institutions create pre-approved offers for you based on your relationship with them. If you have stable income, a clean credit history and an established relationship with your bank, you may get your loan easily. You can connect with your bank directly for this, or go online to loan aggregator websites where all your pre-approved offers from various financial institutions will be listed in one place.
Lastly, it may be a hard pill to swallow, but if you’re out of options, you may have to take a helping hand from your friends and family. You may ask them to give you a loan on easy repayment terms. You can offer a collateral if that helps your case. Remember to pay back the loan in full without delay, because this will not be an easy period for them as well.
(The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com)