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From Digital Payments to Business STP

Saroj Ranjan Nayak, General Manager, Digital Banking Department, provides insightful updates on digital progress at UCO Bank:

From Digital Payments to Business STP

Mehul Dani: Please describe underlying technologies of your bank and update about usage patterns of apps and digital Payments platforms of the bank.

Saroj Ranjan Nayak: We have introduced AI / ML based tools for our chatbot UMA and video KYC based account opening. In the area of self-service kiosks, we have all flavors of kiosk as on date ranging from cash dispenser to cash recycler, account opening kiosk, debit card printing kiosk, passbook printing kiosk, cheque deposit kiosk as well as other multi-function kiosk.

The bank has upgraded its loan processing application with most advanced application, comprising platform for seamless API integrations from emerging fintech. In this series we have collaborated with various fintechs to avail multiple services like Form 16 verification, GSTR verification, ROC/LPG validation, pulling CIBIL score, e-stamping, etc, for real-time vetting of proposals and curtailing sanction time. The bank’s loan processing system is now integrated with multi-channel lead management solution as well, to collect leads and convert them to actual business.

How many of your customers use mobile banking?

The bank’s mobile banking application has been an ‘all-time-fav’ amongst our customers with more than 7 million registrations. Last financial year, mobile banking transaction volume was approximately 80 million with a value of approximately Rs65.50 billion.

How has digital transformation become useful in lending?

For a commercial organization, ultimate goal is to earn profit through business. Technology is there to support the business. Traditionally digital products were aimed to cater the market space of liability products, viz, deposit and payment. However, we are now marching ahead with the vision of improvising our practices and processes with the help of digital transformation specially in the field of lending, to help in making prudent decision and ensure proper underwriting. In this financial year, we have already introduced straight through processing (STP) based pre-approved personal loan and Shishu Mudra loan.

How much business has the bank garnered online in 2021-22? How have you brought BCs, distributors into fold of the digital strategy? How have digital initiatives contributed in increasing the business of the bank?

Benefits of digital banking cannot simply be quantified but to be seen from the perspective of both tangible and intangible outcomes. It helps in reduction of cost of delivery of service, improvement in customer satisfaction, improvised compliance, etc.

We have deployed more than 2300 ATMs / cash recyclers / self-service banking kiosks and additionally 10,000+ POS devices and more than 5000 business correspondents with micro-ATM devices for providing real time transaction facility in the remotest villages of the country. With an active card base of around 12 million and 7 million m-banking customers, our customer induced digital transaction share is approximately 70%.

We have been awarded with ‘Utkarsh Puraskar’ by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), GoI for highest volume of digital transaction during FY 2020-21, in small & medium category. Our bank has achieved 135% of the allotted target by the government in FY 2021-22. UCO Bank has achieved a growth of 57% of digital transaction volume from FY’21 to FY’22.

The bank utilizes business correspondents for promotion of digital products like issuance of debit cards, QR code, etc. Our bank has tie-up with various partners for providing direct sales agent for on-boarding merchants to various digital payment acceptance platforms like PoS, Soft-PoS, fee collection, payment gateway, etc.

In the payment acquiring ecosystem, our bank has more than 150 merchants live on its fee collection module and almost 10,000 PoS merchants. UCO Bank is not only garnering business in the form of interchange income and commission but also though expanding its float in the business accounts. Online & digital initiatives have also helped bank to retain its existing customers who were in requirement of different digital solutions for their business to survive during the covid situation and also acquired new customers on basis of the merchant on-boarding digital products.

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