Reported by: banking|Updated: November 12, 2020
Capex drives growth and modernization:
Vanamala Srinivas, CEO of the Gayatri Cooperative Urban Bank, has taken the bank on the path of digital transformation successfully.
Mehul Dani: How have you upgraded technology infrastructure to handle customers and transactions growth in 2020-21? How many more ATMs have been added to the current FY?
Vanamala Srinivas: We have upgraded our CBS, mobile banking application, and data center in accordance with the growth in the volume of transactions. Also, we have replaced all the 44 ATMs instead of upgrading old machines for being EMV compliant. In this way, the efficiency of the machines is increased and the time for transactions is a lot better now. It has enhanced customer experience as well. Moreover, we have added 6 additional machines to meet the customer flow at ATMs.
What are the usual topics training of the staff? Please give details of the training programs undertaken in the current FY so far.
In view of the covid situation, we are mainly focusing on online training through digital media, which is more efficient. We are covering a number of topics in these sessions, such as cybersecurity awareness, credit management, motivational sessions, digital payments as well as dispute management, and customer service. We may add other topics as we move ahead.
What are the variety, volume, and value of digital payments? Any new payment products in the pipeline?
As of 2019-20, IMPS transactions have increased to 632,612 with 56.13% YoY growth, amounting to Rs11.698 billion (up by17.18%). NACH transactions have increased to 1,486,397, with 97.98% YoY growth amounting to Rs7.944 billion (up by 5.63%). There has been a 41.97 % YoY increase in debit card transactions to 1,641,157, with the total amount being Rs20.646 billion, up by 17.94%. We are going to onboard UPI and AePS services soon. These are in the final stage of certification.
How have you brought BCs, distributors, and agents, into the fold of your digital strategy?
We have got permission from RBI to appoint banking correspondents/business facilitators. Pre-deployment work is under process. We are planning to introduce the BC/BF services in the first week of October 2020.
Who are your main technology vendors and what are their respective services? How large is your data center?
Our CBS is from BSG ITSoft. Our data center is at Tata Communication Services. For FY 2019-20, our Capex for digital initiatives was Rs15.48 million and opex Rs5.5 million. Capex and opex for FY 2020-21 for the same purposes are Rs18.57 million and Rs6.5 million. We have an IT team comprising 23 staff members, which has grown from 17 members last year. It is headed by a general manager, who has an assistant general manager and 21 members. This team deals with all operational and security issues and coordinates with the service providers for rectification of any technological problems.
To what extent technology will be an enabler in the foreseeable future for your bank?
Technology will lead to a major part of the business in the future. Due to the covid pandemic, the entire business strategy has changed. The services and products should be designed to avoid customer visits to the bank. We are planning to adopt BCs, AePS, UPI, and video-based KYC in the near future.
How strong is your presence on social media? How are you acquiring new customers?
We are not present on any social media. ‘Satisfied customers’ are our media. We believe that mouth to mouth canvassing is a big and strong promotion. At present, we have a base of 643,000 customers, and we are acquiring 300 new customers daily by this type of strategy only.