Us­ing POS & mi­cro-ATMs to boost busi­ness

Banking Frontiers - - Regional Rural Banks - Me­hul@bank­ingfron­tiers.com

Andhra Pra­gati Grameena Bank re­ceived ‘IBA Bank­ing Tech­nol­ogy Award2018’ for its use of tech­nol­ogy to im­prove op­er­a­tions. The bank’s chair­man A. Venkata Reddy out­lines the bank’s suc­cess­ful tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives:

Me­hul: What are the ma­jor tech­nolo­gies that the bank has in­ducted re­cently?

A. Venkata Reddy: We have been func­tion­ing on CBS since Septem­ber 2011 cov­er­ing 100% of our op­er­a­tions. We have been con­tin­u­ously lever­ag­ing tech­nol­ogy for im­prov­ing our busi­ness through bet­ter cus­tomer ser­vice and bring­ing in cus­tomer de­light. All the al­ter­nate de­liv­ery chan­nels are made avail­able to the cus­tomers. We have com­menced RTGS/NEFT in Novem­ber 2012, NACH in June 2013, CPSMS in De­cem­ber 2013, RuPay debit card in March 2014, AML/KYC in April 2014, POS in June 2015, mo­bile bank­ing and ATMs in Au­gust 2015, missed­call bank­ing in Oc­to­ber 2015, IMPS in Novem­ber 2015, eKYC in April 2016 and au­dio con­fer­enc­ing in July 2016.

What is size of IT depart­ment?

We have 31 staff mem­bers in the IT team. The depart­ment is headed by a gen­eral man­ager, as­sisted by one AGM and a se­nior man­ager, 7 man­agers, 5 as­sis­tant man­agers and an of­fice as­sis­tant. As many as 15 IT of­fi­cers are de­ployed at 8 re­gional of­fices.

What about IT train­ing of­fered to the staff?

We have been pro­vid­ing req­ui­site train­ing for our IT staff. We are deput­ing our staff for train­ing of­fered by in­sti­tu­tions like BIRD, IDRBT, etc. We have a new strat­egy in place of iden­ti­fy­ing and train­ing of gen-next tech-savvy staff on var­i­ous tech­nolo­gies to en­sure max­i­mum up­time and high avail­abil­ity of all sys­tems and quick res­o­lu­tion of all sys­tem re­lated is­sues for un­in­ter­rupted and bet­ter cus­tomer ser­vice.

Some of the train­ing pro­grams we have un­der­taken are on CBS ap­pli­ca­tions, al­ter­na­tive de­liv­ery chan­nels, fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion, KYC/AML/CFT, bank­ing om­buds­man, BCSBI, credit man­age­ment, cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship man­age­ment, in­ter­nal con­trol, house-keep­ing and pre­ven­tive vig­i­lance, mar­ket­ing of bank prod­ucts & ser­vices, NFS, high value ad­vances and CGTMSE loans, NPA man­age­ment, prof­itabil­ity man­age­ment etc. We have al­ways given pri­or­ity to CBS train­ing so that all the con­cerned staff – of­fi­cers and as­sis­tants – are con­ver­sant with the pro­grams. When­ever an up­grade is made avail­able to the CBS, we in­stantly of­fer train­ing to the con­cerned staff.

How does the bank han­dle cus­tomers’ needs us­ing IT?

We have a call cen­ter at the head of­fice to ad­dress all card-re­lated is­sues. All the branches are provided with DIGI Banker - an of­fi­cer is iden­ti­fied to ad­dress the IT re­lated is­sues and to pro­mote IT ini­tia­tives. We are the first RRB in Andhra Pradesh to im­ple­ment e-Com­merce and in­ter­net bank­ing fa­cil­i­ties for our cus­tomers. We have re­ceived 2 IT awards dur­ing 2017-18 - IBA Bank­ing Tech­nol­ogy Awards-2018 un­der RRB cat­e­gory for im­ple­ment­ing all tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives such as UPI, IMPS, in­ter­net bank­ing, mo­bile bank­ing, NEFT, RTGS, USSD, e-Com­merce, missed call bank­ing, e-Pass­book, and best IT en­abled ex­cel­lence award un­der tech­nol­ogy ex­cel­lence cat­e­gory from IDRBT for adopt­ing emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy and im­ple­ment­ing tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives on par with na­tion­al­ized banks.

Which are your main IT ven­dors?

C-Edge is the com­pany that provided us CBS, AML, MIS and LOS. For CTS, we have a tie-up with HDFC Bank. Our data cen­ter is lo­cated at Net­magic’s fa­cil­ity at Vikhroli in Mum­bai and DR site at Net­magic, Ben­galuru. The data cen­ter can han­dle 200 trans­ac­tions per se­cond.

How is tech­nol­ogy put to use with re­gard to NPA man­age­ment?

In our CBS, we have in­cor­po­rated a new func­tion­al­ity – auto-move­ment of NPAs. We pe­ri­od­i­cally hold video con­fer­ences and tele­con­fer­ences with re­gional of­fices, high value NPA branch man­agers and of­fi­cers (ad­vances) in or­der to keep track of NPAs and con­tain them.

What is the feed­back from cus­tomers?

We have en­cour­ag­ing re­sponse from our cus­tomers to our var­i­ous tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives. We have been placed at a high pedestal as re­gards dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions by RRBs in the coun­try. Our cus­tomers are happy about our IT-based ser­vices, es­pe­cially with our mo­bile bank­ing app which is very user friendly.

What are the IT plans and dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives likely to be un­der­taken in the medium term?

We would like to in­tro­duce POS at mer­chant out­lets and also mi­cro-ATMs at branch level to boost the busi­ness lev­els of the bank. The ex­pen­di­ture for in­stalling mi­cro-ATMs at all branches is es­ti­mated around `1.50 crore and 80% cost of this ex­pen­di­ture will be by way of grant as­sis­tance by Nabard.

A. Venkata Reddy claims the bank’s cus­tomers ap­pre­ci­ate the tech­nol­ogy-based ser­vices, es­pe­cially its mo­bile bank­ing app

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