In
recent years, there has been an increase in the use of direct means of banking,
in parallel with a decline in customers coming to the bank branches.  Most banking services can currently be
obtained through digital means—a banking application or the bank’s website—or
through telephone call centers (such as cash transfers, deposits or withdrawals
from deposits, ordering checkbooks, providing loans, paying off loans, cancelling
credit cards, changing charge dates, and more) including call centers operated
by the banks.

 

The
banks have installed customer relationship management (CRM) systems that, inter
alia, allow bank employees at the call centers to obtain a complete picture of
the state of activity in the customer’s accounts, thereby enabling the customer
to obtain a wide variety of account services through the call center.  Technological improvements, including those
made as part of call center activities, have increased the availability of
banking services to the public without the customer having to go to the branch
during specific hours of operation, and helping them avoid having to stand in
line.  Service through the call center
should be more convenient and available for some elderly and disabled customers
who find it difficult to use the application or website.

 

In
March 2017, the Knesset approved Amendment number 15 to the Senior Citizens
Law, 5750–1989, which set out that every senior citizen above the age of 80 who
requests it, will be given priority in a (physical) line for “public
service”.  In keeping with this
legislation, and complementary to it, the Banking Supervision Department is
initiating a new Proper Conduct of Banking Business directive requiring banks
and credit card companies to allow elderly customers (those above the age of
80) and customers with disabilities to be given priority in the wait for a
human telephone response.

 

Supervisor
of Banks Dr. Hedva Ber said, “The banking system in Israel and around the world
is in the midst of a technological revolution that is making banking services
more available and convenient for most customers.  The Banking Supervision Department is aware
of the fact that there are customers who find it difficult to get used to the
change, and is acting to make things easier for them.  In view of this, we have approached the banks
with a new requirement to give elderly and disabled customers priority in the
wait for the call center, as an additional measure to assist customers in the
transition to direct means of banking.”​