Telangana Coop Bank
Aims to increase customer base to 600,000 in the next 3 years:
Consequent on the reorganization of the state of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana, the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank was bifurcated into the Telangana State Cooperative Apex Bank (TSCAB) and the Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank (APSCB). At present, TSCAB operates through 42 business outlets, basically serving the cosmopolitan twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. In addition, there are 347 branches of DCCBs and799 branches of PACS coming under its purview. The bank added 4 branches in Saroornagar, Meerpet, Badangpet and Manurabad recently. It has 42 ATMs – 36 onsite and the rest offsite essentially at station of the Hyderabad Metro – to provide convenience to its customers. The bank’s customer base stands at around 500,000.
ADDING 100,000 CUSTOMERS
Dr Nethi Muralidhar, MD of the bank, says the bank is now offering services to its customers on par with those offered by commercial banks. It has set up financial literacy centers for the benefit of its customers as well as those of the DCCBs and PACS in collaboration with the NABARD. The intention is to bring in the untapped potential customers to the banking fold and to educate them about the benefits of having a financial relationship with the banks and usage of eChannels, he adds.
“We are also targeting to increase the customer base to 600,000 in the next 3 financial years. Some of the salient features of our operations are that we offer attractive interest rates for deposit0rs, timely service to the customers, less processing time for gold loans and retail loans and locker facility,” says Muralidhar.
One of the steps it has taken recently is to set up digital signage boards in branches to create awareness among the customers about various products/services offered by the bank. These boards also spread the message about measures that customers to prevent on-line/off-line frauds.
The bank has ensured that all the new recruits are tech-savvy so that they can handle the work using modern technology and also sensitize customers on the services offered based on technology.
The bank collected `36.22 billion in deposits in 2018-19. It registered a negative growth of 5.94% in deposits compared to 2017-18. “We have been striving to scale up the position of CASA deposits by tapping the salaried people, merchants and businessmen for opening savings bank and current accounts to meet industry standards. Our CASA is 18.68% as of 201819,” says Muralidhar.
LOANS, REFINANCE UP
Loans extended to DCCBs for short-term seasonal agriculture operations form the lion’s share of the total loans provided by the bank, followed by long-term loans to the agricultural sector. Refinance from NABARD has been consistent over the years. Says Muralidhar: We have extended loans amounting `55.96 billion in 2018-19, which is up by `4 billion over the previous year. The total amount of loans extended to cooperative federations stood at `5.37 billion. We have received refinance from NABARD to the extent of `35.02 billion. We have been able to show consistent progress on the loans front.”
The bank’s gross NPA has reduced to `121.4 million (0.22%) in in 2018-19 from `124.9 million (0.24%) a year ago. The net NPA has remained at zero for many years. Muralidhar claims that the bank has been able to make significant progress in bringing down the NPA to a minimum level even though NPA in the entire banking system has shown alarming growth.
NEW IT FEATURES
The bank has a strong IT infrastructure using which it is offering services like mobile banking and IMPS, internet banking with view option UPI and NEFT/ RTGS. The bank introduced IMPS in 2017 and UPI in 2018. Its income through various eChannles in 2018-19 has been Rs11 million during 2018-19, says Muralidhar.
The bank is yet to employ data analytics tools to forecast transaction patterns in various services offered by it. “At present, we are not using any sophisticated data science tools to forecast transaction patterns. However, we have introduced a similar methodology for forecasting the number of transactions routed through our ATMs. This analysis is helping us to manage cash in the ATMs efficiently,” says Muralidhar.
MAJOR VENDORS, PROJECTS
Infrasoft Technologies (for CBS) in capex mode, Sarvatra Technologies (for switch) in opex mode and Vortex Engineering (for ATMs) in capex mode are the 3 major technology vendors of the bank. The bank has recently migrated to the NFS platform and has been issuing RuPay cards. It has also initiated a major project to computerize operations of the 798 PACS in the state. In addition, it brought 9 DCCBs on to the NFS platform and delivered 8.5 million RuPay KCC cards through the DCCBs in 2017-18. It was second in the country in the number of RuPay platinum cards issued. The bank has also conducted more than 50 Go Digital camps in all the DCCBs.
Says Muralidhar: “We deployed 1000 micro-ATMs in the DCCB branches and PACS. Some 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 has also been conducted.”
STAFF IT TRAINING
The bank has been adhering to the dictum ‘More the computer literacy, more is the capability of the bank to flourish’. Says Muralidhar: “Computer literacy among 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 and this helps us to ensure that all our staff members are quite adept in handling the computer-based banking applications.”
On the training front, the bank has a dedicated training institute at Rajendranagar which hosts several training programs to meet most of the needs of the bank’s employees. Apart from this, the bank also nominates its employees for various training programs at premier institutes like BIRD and at the training institutions of the RBI.
Besides, the IT vendors too provide training to the staff so that employees are acquainted with the technicalities of various software and hardware applications. “Our IT team comprises 10members, who are well-versed with the CBS applications and capable enough to handle the issues related to the applications and products,” says Muralidhar.
As the banking industry is undergoing a radical transformation in terms of operations and use of technology in the operations, TSCAB feels it should not be left behind and would need to retail the dynamism to stay ahead in a highly competitive market. With this in mind, Muralidhar enlists the various measures the bank would adopt: “We are planning to introduce new digital technology products that are available in the market for improving our business in a phased manner while taking measures for retaining our existing business. We are planning to implement the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), in the current financial year. For the launch of this digital initiative, we are in talks with Yes Bank. We are also planning to introduce Aadhar Enabled Payment System and eKYC services this financial year. Currently testing is under process.”
The bank is shortly migrating to the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) platform. Using the system, it will credit all the incentives of the government schemes to the accounts of the beneficiaries directly through DBT. These schemes include government pensions, student scholarships, various central government welfare schemes, housing schemes, subsidies, etc. The ministry of rural development has directed NPCI to use repayment module of PFMS platform while remitting the charges and incentives to different entities after the same is settled by the implementing agencies. The testing of the platform has been completed and the bank already live on PFMS, says Muralidhar.
The bank is also proposing to be a direct member of the NFS instead of a submember of the IDBI Bank. EMV testing is in the final stage. Once testing is completed, the bank will be live on NFS switch as a direct member, says Muralidhar.
Nethi Muralidhar claims the computer literacy among the TSCAB staff members is on par with the current needs of the banking industry
TSCAB’s ATM at a Metro station in Hyderabad