India’s leading private sector banks like HDFC and ICICI have urged people to use digital means of transactions as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

As per reports, the banks will function with a reduced number of staff and have introduced several new operational measures due to the massive outbreak of coronavirus.

HDFC Bank will function from 10 am to 2 pm till March 31 from Monday to Friday.

The bank has also temporarily suspended passbook update and foreign currency purchase services.

“In the interest of public health and safety, we will be withdrawing the following services temporarily of passbook updates and foreign currency purchase,” it said in a communication sent to its customers on Sunday.

Moreover, the ICICI Bank also informed its customers that its branches will remain open with reduced staff.

It also urged its customers to avail its banking services using Internet Banking.

“Our branches shall remain open with required hygiene steps and reduced staff. For the same reason, our contact centre will also function with reduced staff. We urge you to stay safe and bank from home using iMobile/Internet Banking for all essential banking services,” it said in an SMS to its customers.

Indian Banks Association (IBA) Chief Executive Sunil Mehta has said that due to the rapid outbreak of COVID 19, banks will ensure availability of at least four essential services-  cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposition, remittances, and government transactions — at their branches from Monday.

However, the rest of the banking services may be suspended and it will be decided by a bank.

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