A new strategy for ATM expansion
Chhattisgarh Rajya Gramin Bank has a number of IT roll-out plans for this FY:
Chhattisgarh Rajya Gramin Bank has a number of IT roll-out plans for this FY
hattisgarh Rajya Gramin Bank has rolled out several major IT-enabled services in recent times, giving a number of benefits to the bank and its customers. Being an-SBI sponsored RRB, its customers can utilize the vast SBI ATM network, totally free of cost. However, in order to improve its IT strength and build brand image, the bank has introduced its own ATMs (3 at present). To supplement and improve easy access of basic banking services in very remote areas, the bank has also deployed 342 micro-ATMs through its Bank Mitras, which is a substantial increase from 287 last year. The micro-ATMs at Bank Mitras had started functioning in September 2016 and all the basic needs of the local population are fully met through these inter-operable machines.
R.K. Gupta, chairman of the bank, says the bank has been first among 18 SBIsponsored RRBs to have a vast micro-ATM network. He mentions that with NABARD’s help, the bank will deploy 618 microATMs at its own branches to make the transactions smooth and also facilitating RuPay Card activation. “We also propose to install 100 ATMs by FY 2019 and in order to provide a fillip to financial inclusion and digitization programs, we are also rolling out 3 mobile vans with all infrastructure and ATMs,” adds Gupta
BANK MITRA: DIGI CHANNELS
The bank has been providing door-step digital banking services to customers through 510 Bank Mitras. The micro-ATMs are already functional, and their network is expected to be be further expanded. Gupta says the transactions at Bank Mitras are rising at a phenomenal rate with total transactions crossing 30 lakh during FY 2018. Due to improved Aadhaar seeding (95%), AEPS transactions too are growing, he adds, maintaining that the AEPS channel is considered to be the safest payment mode and it also eliminates the need for debit cards, etc.
RUPAY CARD HITS UP
The bank has rolled out RuPay Platinum
Debit Card (Elite) recently, the first RRB in the SBI group to do so. It had earlier introduced eCommerce transactions using RuPay Card. Says Gupta: “RuPay ATM hits have gone up by 21% (68.19 lakh) yoy due to a jump in our card base, incrased use of micro-ATMs at Bank Mitras as well as PoS/e-Commerce initiatives. This will provide us a better competitive strength among the business class and high networth customers.”
IT POWER TO UP BUSINESS
The bank is now offering insurance products from SBI Life and SBI General Insurance to its customers, who would want to buy insurance products. It is also live on UPI BHIM. It is now proposing to introduce loan processing units to streamline and standardize the loan sanction procedure with particular focus on TAT reduction.
The bank has plans to have a loan origination software on CBS for online processing and centralized sanction of loans. To improve connectivity, it has deployed dedicated leased lines with high bandwidth connecting all the branches and to support the LOS as well as other CBS based applications. It has also introduced e-KYC for account opening through tab banking via Bank Mitras. It is now in the process of acquiring software for AML, Business Dashboard and Deadstock Management during this year.
Gupta says the bank is finalizing plans to publicize its inter-operable micro-ATMs facility to not only generate additional income through the Bank Mitras channel, but to establish micro-ATMs as viable alternatives to the normal brick and mortar high cost ATM machines.
On the human resources management front, the bank has already implemented HRMS with salary, leave and perquisites modules. It now plans to have a performance appraisal module and income tax calculation module, which will bring in conveniences for the staff. “This will free our staff from routine administrative jobs, provide standardization and minimize discrepancies,” says Gupta
STAFF TRAINING ON CBS
The bank has recruited adequate number of IT specialist officers and there are 45 such officers manning the IT department now. It has developed and rolled out a controller’s tool for instant MIS on core business areas, which is a unique initiative among RRBs of the SBI group. “We have plans for acquiring updated hardware and new software applications, with a budget of approximately `6 crore during the current financial year. Some 40 staff members have already undergone training on CBS in the last 3 years,” says Gupta.
BENEFITS FOR CUSTOMERS
The bank has an e-KYC platform with all the 607 branches connected to it. This has brought in extreme levels of satisfaction among its customers. Gupta mentions that the customers are happy that they are receiving all the contemporary services from the bank, which are comparable to those offered by any commercial bank. One notable aspect is that the customers are having access to 24x7 doorstep banking facilities.
Gupta talks about an exercise the bank had undertaken recently to get feedback from the customers. “We had undertaken this exercise through statewide Digi-FLAP (Digital Financial Literacy Awareness Program) camps organized during 2017-18. Following this exercise, we have observed that the customer-stickiness has improved
due to increased number of products per customer ratio, which has since crossed a favorable level of 2.00.”
IT solutions have definitely improved the bank’s competitive strength and Gupta is confident that it could safeguard its territory amid very fierce competition from other banks.
“The tech-savvy image of the bank has added great brand value,” says he, adding: “With the rapidly decreasing footfall at our branches because of the availability of alternate channels, the cost of operations has been substantially reduced. The expenditure ratio has actually declined during 2017-18. Our mobile banking (M-Tej) is becoming very popular (35,000 registrations) among customers within a very short period.”
While expanding digital transaction channels, the bank is fully aware of and is committed towards better customer awareness, security of transactions and transparency. Gupta believes that sustainable progress can be achieved only by earning the trust of the clientele and building durable relationships.
“With this in view, we sincerely endeavor for customer education through bulk SMS, holding of Digi-FLAP camps, going digital camps, media advertisement and our popular website,” says he.
The bank has introduced Vertical Branches Concept, which is unique for
the SBI RRB group. Says Gupta: “We are focusing on selected 122 potential branches for business development and higher productivity. We plan to cross Rs14,000 crore total business giving us per branch business of Rs22.78 crore.”
Today, the bank is focusing on improving profitability through business growth, plugging of income leakages, increasing fee income and finding out new avenues for additional income through cross-selling, etc.
IN-HOUSE BUILT WEBSITE
The IT team of the bank has developed a very user-friendly and highly informative website, specifically to handle customer queries and educate the customers on the bank’s products and services. The site (www.cgb.in) is used extensively for customer education, rollout
of new initiatives, ongoing campaigns, promotional measures, product details and procurement notices etc. Says Gupta: “Within a short period of 2 years, the hits on the site have already crossed 5.27 lakh.”
MIS TOOL FOR DECISIONS
The bank has an in-house developed Controllers’ Tool for providing relevant information on core business areas pertaining to branches/ administrative units (regional offices). The deposits, advances and NPA movements are tracked through this tool. “The qualitative information like audit profile and productivity ratios are also monitored through this. This is the first such initiative among 18 SBI group RRBs. It functions on voice data and hence is independent of internet connectivity availability,” says Gupta.
State Bank of India has sponsored 18 RRBs and these banks have a total of 5750 branches. The application service provider for all the SBI-sponsored RRBs is C-Edge Technologies.
The bank’s tier-3 data center is located at Mumbai. Says Gupta: “As far as total installed capacity for supporting the number of branches and transaction volume per day is concerned, the existing hardware can support 8000 to 10,000 branches. This capacity level is adequate to cater to our long-term future needs. The CBS is BaNCS 24. IDBI is providing CTS services through NetTech Software.”
RK Gupta points out to the in-house developed website of the bank, which is used extensively for customer education, roll-out of new initiatives and promotional measures
R K Gupta, chairman, addressing an SHG meet at Khairagarh