Reported by: banking|Updated: August 17, 2019
Plans to embrace the new digital technology products:
Telangana State Cooperative Apex Bank Ltd (TSCAB) was registered on 25 March 2015. The bank extends loans to DCCBs for short term-seasonal agriculture operations purpose – these forms the lion’s share of the total loans followed by the long-term loans to agricultural sector. The refinance from NABARD has been consistent over the years. Dr. Nethi Muralidhar, MD, says: “The bank has extended loans amounting Rs55.96 bn, which is up by Rs4 bn over the previous year. The total amount of loans extended to cooperative federations stood at Rs5.37 bn approximately as of the last financial year.”
New IT Features
There are a number of key IT features of the bank, which include mobile banking and IMPS facility, internet banking with view option currently, UPI facility to transfer funds and NEFT/RTGS facility. Muralidhar gives the backdrop: “The bank moved onto IMPS platform in the year 2017 and moved onto the UPI platform on 31 Aug 2018. Further, the bank has earned an income of Rs11mn during 2018-19 through various e-channels.”
The bank has deployed digital signage boards in the branches in a bid to induce awareness among the customers about various products/services offered by the bank. Muralidhar adds: “It also spread message about protective measures that should be taken by customers to prevent on-line/off-line frauds.”
Major Vendors, Projects
The 3 major vendors of the bank are Infrasoft Technologies (for CBS) in capex mode, Sarvatra Technologies (for switch) in opex mode and Vortex Engineering (for ATMs) in capex mode. The bank has taken up many digital initiatives taken up in recent years. From the on-us ATM switch, it onboarded to the NFS platform and issued interoperable Rupay cards in 2016-17. It also implemented mobile banking for its customers in the same year. Muralidhar recalls: “We initiated one of the prestigious projects viz., computerization of 798 PACS in Telangana.”
The bank onboarded 9 DCCBs of Telangana on to the NFS platform and delivered 8.5 million Rupay KCC cards to the DCCBs in 2017-18. It was 2nd in the country to issue Rupay Platinum Cards. It conducted more than 50 ‘Go Digital’ camps in all the DCCBs. Muralidhar adds: “We deployed 1000 micro-ATMs in the DCCB branches and PACS. 80% of the PACS have been digitized and have been brought on to the CBS platform and with the due cooperation from the state government, system audit in the new environment was conducted.”
Further, TSCAB has onboarded to the NPCI UPI platform and introduced internet banking with view option in 2018-19.
Staff IT Training
To be in tune with the latest developments in the market, the computer literacy is desideratum to the banking industry. ‘More the computer literacy, more is the flourishing of a bank’ is the approach at TSCAB. Muralidhar claims: “The computer literacy amongst our staff members is on par with the current needs of the banking industry. The average age of our bank employee being in the early 30s substantiates the fact that all our staff members are quite adept in handling the computer-based banking applications.”
TSCAB has a dedicated training institute in CTI at Rajendranagar which hosts several training programs that caters to the needs of all the bank’s employees in various subjects & fields. Muralidhar further says: “Apart from this, our bank nominates employees to attend several programs at premier institutes like BIRD and training programs at RBI.”
The IT vendors also provide training to the staff so that employees are acquainted with the intricacies of the CBS/hardware applications. Muralidhar informs: “The IT team comprises 10-member strong team well-versed with the CBS applications and capable enough to handle the issues related to the applications and products.”
The banking sector has been witnessing a radical transition from a conventional mode of banking to convenience banking and the industry is transforming by leaps and bounds day by day with the advent of more sophisticated technology. As the market needs some dynamism to stay relevant in the present competitive scenario, treading on the old paths doesn’t even help to survive in the long run.
The bank is on-boarding onto Public Financial Management System (PFMS) platform. All the incentives of the government schemes will be credited to the accounts of the customers of the bank through the DBT. The testing has been completed and the bank is live on PFMS.
The bank proposes to onboard the National Financial Switch (NFS) with NPCI as direct member instead as sub-member to IDBI Bank. Muralidhar adds: “EMV testing is in the final stage. Once testing is completed, the bank onboards onto NFS switch as a direct member.”
Muralidhar concludes: “We are planning to embrace the new digital technology products that are available in the market for improving our business in a phased manner while taking measures for retaining the existing business. We are planning to implement the Bharath Bill Payment System (BBPS), in the current financial year. For the launch of this digital initiative, we are in talks with Yes Bank. The bank is also planning to introduce Aadhar Enabled Payment System & e-KYC services to the customers of the bank this financial year. Currently testing is under process.”