CRGB expands digital footprint

Reported by: |Updated: June 28, 2020

Plans to strengthen areas like audit, loan processing and asset management:

Chhattisgarh Rajya Gramin Bank serves the entire state with its 613 branches, which is the largest bank network in the state. Sponsored by the State Bank of India, the bank came into being in 2006 with the amalgamation of erstwhile Bilaspur-Raipur Kshetriya Gramin Bank, Bastar Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Raigarh Kshetriya Gramin Bank under the provisions of Regional Rural Banks Act 1976. The bank already has various channels like IMPS, UPI, NEFT, RTGS, AEPS, mobile ATMs, micro ATMs, etc, to cater to the needs of its approximately 8.5 million customer base.

As of 2019-20 it has micro ATM (Green Channel) in all the branches. It set up server-less banking in branches thereby reducing issues related to hardware procurement and maintenance. The branches are connected using leased line / radio frequency (RF) and th4ere has been a massive broadband upgrade in 2019. Today, of the 613 branches, 422 have leased line/ RF connectivity and 390 of them have been upgraded with server-less banking facility. The bank expects to have this facility at all the branches by the end of this financial year. The branches are also equipped with appropriate power backup system (UPS) to overcome any unforeseen electricity disruptions.

The bank has kiosk banking facility where customers can get their passbooks updated without any assistance of the bank staff. Besides, micro ATMs are there in all the branches besides ATMs at 3 key branches. In addition, to ensure banking facilities are available in remote villages, the bank has also introduced 3 mobile vans with ATMs. The bank is now proposing to implement a loan origination system (LOS) to help streamline credit processes.

The bank has a 50-member IT team posted across various regional offices and head office. According to I.K. Gohil, chairman of the bank, this team is strategically supported by professionals from C-Edge, which is the hardware vendor for the bank. Heads of departments use Samsung Glaxy tabs for operational purposes.

The bank is using Microsoft’s Office 365 and all heads of departments, regional managers and branch heads have access to Microsoft Team. “We have been able to conduct virtual meetings and conferences using this facility and this ensures that we fulfill the protocols during the Covid pandemic,” says Gohil.

The bank has been giving priority for digital transactions and the total number of digital transactions has increased from 31.8 million in 2018-19 to 39.1 million in 2019-20, constituting 69.66% of total bank transactions. Gohil says the bank aims to achieve the target of 80% of digital transactions in FY 2020-21. He also reveals that mobile banking has seen a growth of 79.1%, UPI 185%, IMPS 91%, AEPS 57.9%, PoS/ECom 29.09%, DBT 10.05% and NEFT 6.75% in 2019-20 compared to the previous year. As the bank promoted digital mode of transactions especially during the Covid breakout, it could achieve a 93% increase in AEPS, UPI ands IMPS transaction amounts in April 2020 alone.

The bank offers facilities like complementary airport lounge access, insurance coverage, etc to holders of its RuPay Platinum cards. It has also introduced personalized cheque books and a mobile app, mTej, which gives 24×7 banking access to customers with all basic functionalities.

The bank has successfully disbursed the Covid relief funds to beneficiaries within the prescribed timelines. Says Gohil: “We are in the process of disbursing `3.03 billion during the 3-month period to some 2.1 million beneficiaries,” says Gohil.

The bank’s IT department has conducted multiple trainings on C-KYC, AML-KYC and micro ATM for various regions and branches. Staff members of the department have also attended training sessions conducted by NPCI, NABARD, BIRD, etc, on topics covering reconciliation, cyber security and many more.

Gohil says the bank’s IT infrastructure upgrade is guided by principles of data integrity and data security along with maintaining absolute secrecy of customer information. The bank, he says, is exploring ways to bring in artificial intelligence-based technology to provide customized banking services to its customers.

The bank has recently obtained a license for internet banking. The other initiatives are introducing green PIN, MAB BHIM Acquirer facility (QR code facility) and FASTag services besides Bharat Bill Payment System. It is also implementing OTMS, or Offsite Transaction Monitoring System, a web-based internal verification audit to replace the manual circle audit and IFAMS, or Integrated Fixed Asset Management System.

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