Reported by: banking|Updated: September 4, 2020
To focus on operations, processes, infrastructure and management:
Banks and financial institutions have faced a huge crisis as a result of the covid pandemic and for banks the connect with the customers has to be an ongoing process all through, says , Chief Development Officer, Kalupur Commercial Cooperative Bank. But he says the pandemic has challenged the traditional way of contacting people and generating business for an organization. “Therefore, I feel, there is an urgent need to adapt the virtual and do interactions to counter this this dynamic, ever-changing business environment. We consider it as an opportunity to update our digital initiatives and help the customers go digital,” he says.”
IT INFRA UPGRADATION
The bank had recently upgraded its IT infrastructure to take care of increased business transactions. Its LAN & WAN have been upgraded with new switches and centralized management capabilities. In addition, the datacenter infrastructure is in the process of being revamped with new technology. The ATM network has been upgraded for EMV compliance and to install anti-skimming devices and terminal security software.
IT TRAINING TOPICS
The bank had organized training programs on topics, including API programming, cyber security, RTGS/NEFT, network security, advanced database administration on Oracle DBMS.
Says Turakhia: “The topics for training include digital transformation and technologies, cyber security, business process re-engineering, Microsoft technologies, Linux administration and operations and PostgreSQL DBMS and administration.”
The bank recently organized a workshop on ‘Upload of Reports on Fin Net Gateway’ in collaboration with FIU-UND Delhi and Gujarat Urban Cooperative Banks Federation. Turakhia says more than 150 participants from 86 cooperative banks in Gujarat participated in the workshop. Anand Gokhle, Deputy Director, FIU-IND and Geetha Krishnan from Wipro, resolved many issues related to uploading of different reports (CTR, STR, etc) through the Fin Net Gateway.”
USE OF DIGITAL SERVICES
Kalupur Bank is multi-state scheduled urban cooperative bank and its branches are predominantly located in urban centers. The bank has 53 on-site and 5 off-site ATMs. All its branches have been connected under CBS. It has 59 branches in Gujarat and Mumbai, offers internet banking. E-Banking, provides anywhere, anytime, online access to accounts for the retail and corporate customers.
Turakhia says the bank’s experience has been that customers are now using more electronic channels such as mobile banking, RTGS/NEFT 24×7, internet banking, IMPS, UPI, ATMs/POS, etc. The lockdown has given an impetus to this trend and the usage of cheques, and physical visits to the branches by customers have sharply reduced. “In fact, our customers are now demanding more features and transaction types to be incorporated in the mobile banking, internet banking and the ATM channel platforms. They have taken the advantage of our digital services and they have made extensive use of net banking, ATMs, online payments through Bharat Billpay services, online FDs, UPI, etc. The E-Banking application is developed using the latest cutting-edge technology keeping end user security in mind,” says he.
Last year, the bank had done well in retail loans. Turakhia says there is not much impact on savings accounts, but the overall challenges that the economy faces are bound to have some impact. Loan inquiries and marketing activities have been taking place through emails, SMS, WhatsApp and website.
VENDORS, PARTNERS, IT TEAM
The major technology service providers of the bank are Dell, HPE/Aruba, IBM, Hitachi Vantara, Infosys, Oracle, Microsoft and AGS. The datacenter of the bank houses 8 racks, with nearly 25 physical servers, and close to 75 virtual servers. Storage Area Network comprises storage systems from Hitachi Vantara and Dell EMC. Networking hardware is from HPE/Aruba and Cisco. The bank also has technology partners like Ashtech Infotech, BBSSL, Litmus Consulting, Mobileware, AGS, TM Systems, TCL, BSNL and ANS Enterprise. Its internal IT team comprises hardware and software engineers, network/server administrators, database administrators, IT management, and help desk personnel – a total of 35 people.”
PLANS FOR IT, DIGITAL
The bank intends to bring about a complete digital transformation in its operations, processes, infrastructure and management. Turakhia says this will entail changes in business processes and automation to a large extent. This is a multi-year project and challenges will be in changing the culture and ethos of the bank rather than technology, he feels.