A new strat­egy for ATM ex­pan­sion

Ch­hat­tis­garh Ra­jya Gramin Bank has a number of IT roll-out plans for this FY:

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights - me­hul@bank­ingfron­tiers.com

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


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.


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.”


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


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.


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.


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.”


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

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