Surat DCCB aims paperless banking, CBS driven PACS by 2020-21
Nareshbhai Patel, chairman, gives insights in the overall development of the Surat DCCB:
The Surat District Cooperative Bank, formed by the late Bamanji Edalji Modi and the late Rav Bahadur Khandubhai Desai, has completed 109 years in June 2018. When started, it had a membership of just 21 individuals and the total number of customers has touched 836,792 in March 2018.
Initially, Surat DCCB’s area of operation was the erstwhile Surat district, but after the creation of Valsad district, it is now restricted to Surat and Tapi districts. It operates 68 ATMs and 89 branches, of which 51 branches are in rural areas. For providing better service and improving the reach of the bank, 19 branches have been added in 2017-18. In all, there are 2322 cooperative societies, PACS and LAMPS affiliated to the bank.
Says Nareshbhai B. Patel, chairman: “It’s been a long journey from a humble beginning in 1909. We have recently obtained the RBI permission to open 32 branches. By 31 March 2019, we intend to have 100 branches. We also want to install 15 more ATMs by the end of the current financial year and 30 ATMs in the next financial year. We have added 29 branches in the last financial year. We aim to expand our footprint to 112 branches by 2020-21. The network will cover the entire geography - rural, semi-urban and urban areas of Surat and Tapi districts.”
The bank conducts awareness programs in rural areas to educate the people about banking with the intention of bringing more people into the financial fold. It holds Financial Literacy Awareness Programs (FLAPs) and digital FLAPs aas well as training sessions with the help of NABARD. Patel says 326 awareness programs have been conducted so far and10 financial literacy centers have been set up, which cover rural customers so that they can adopt digital banking and avail other banking services.
The bank has won many awards at FCBA like Best Chairman (2015-16), Best CEO (2014-15), Best Data Center (201516), Best Mobile Banking App (2018), Best IT Head (2018). It has also been adjudged as the most promising cooperative bank (2018) by Worldwide Achievers.
DEPOSITS, LOANS GOING UP
The bank began its operations in 1909 with a mere working capital of `4780. At the end of 2017-18, its total deposits stand at `50.91 billion and loans at `20.43 billion. Maximum credit in 2017-18 has been provided to the agriculture sector (`8.21 billion), sugar sector (`3.1 billion) and nonfarm sector (`9.11 billion), which includes vehicle loans, education loans, housing loans, etc. The deposits and advances were `23.78 billion and `5.03 billion respectively in 2009-10, which means the bank has been able to achieve a growth of 114.09% and 306.16% respectively in these in 2017-18.
The bank prepares roadmap comprising the macro and micro level goals in line with its mission and vision. As part of the broader strategy of business growth and expansion plans, it monitors its performance against the targets in review meetings of all the branch managers on quarterly basis. Says Patel: “We want the business of the bank to reach `73.5 billion (deposits `52.5 billion and loans `21 billion) by the end of the current financial year. We are aiming to make our CASA to be 40% (`21.2 billion) by 2018-19. Our CD ratio is expected to be 40% by the year end. We estimate our investments to be around `33 billion this year.”
The bank has made meticulous planning for the period up to 2020-21 to grow its business to a certain level. It plans to take its business volume to a substantial higher level - from `71.34 billion in 2017-18. “We have targeted to increase the business to cross `85 billion (deposits `58 billion, advances `27 billion) by 2019-20 and `100 billion (deposits `65 billion, advances `35 billion) by 2020-21. We also intend to achieve several other targets by 202021 end, wherein our net worth will be `5 billion, gross profit `1 billion, net profit `250 million, per employee business `120 million and per branch business `900 million,” says Patel.
TECH SERVICES & PLANS
The bank implemented CBS in 2010, one of the few DCCBs to do so. It provides various services to customers like ePassbook, NEFT/RTGS, APBS, CTS, IMPS, NACH, RUPAY, KCC, internet banking (view mode), toll free banking, mobile banking,
RuPay debit cum ATM card, RuPay Kisan Credit Card, etc. Patel says the bank could provide quick and efficient services to its customer because of implementation of CBS. Plans include starting of eServices and paperless banking offer Oxigen PoS, MPoS, eCom and SMS alerts.
ATMS & MOBILE VANS
The bank has introduced 4 mobile vans covering some 304 villages with customers around 24,717 in the rural areas of the two districts like Mandvi, Mangrol, Vyara, Songadh. Patel says after introducing the mobile vans, the bank’s customer base has risen by 8.89% in 2017-18 and this has brought in help to farmers and local people. The service contributed to the increase in CASA deposit by 19.70% yoy, he adds,
The bank has installed cash deposit machines for its Sumul dairy agents so that they can deposit cash anytime. The main customer base is in rural areas where societies/PACS/milk federations are given benefits by POS/mPOS/micro-ATM services. Claims Patel: “We are the first bank to start offsite ATM services at a DCCB level for Sumul dairy and sugar factories. With the help of micro-ATMs in some 137 PACS/ societies, rural customers have now been able to avail banking services by going to nearest PACS/societies for balance inquiry and cash withdrawal of up to `2000.”
Retail consumer banking has changed radically in the last few years and now one can expect to see a focus on the specific needs of corporate and business customers. Accordingly, the bank has started POS/ mPOS services for the benefit of merchants who are connected to these without charging any installation fee or rent. “This has increased our current account holders’ ratio. We have distributed more than 250 POS/mPOS machines to different PACS and merchants. We have started one ATM mobile van covering remote rural belts in the unbanked areas,” says Patel.
The bank is preparing to provide FASTag delivery channel to its customers by the end of 2019. Patel also mentions that the bank would have paperless banking by 2020-21 and will try to get internet banking with all functionalities besides bringing all the PACS under the CBS fold in the next 2 FYs.
Surat DCCB has a plan in place to extend CBS by offering its customers internet banking (transaction-based), PFMS (direct credit of subsidies), AEPS, tabbased service, CRM/BNA, mobile ATMs for rural areas, door-to-door banking, UPI, BHIM, utility bill payments through ATM machines and similar other services. “We will introduce internet banking, BHIM, UPI and AEPS. Our mobile banking channel is already live, and we are pursuing to introduce UPI for our customers. On 13 April 2018, we shifted our head office to a new state-of-the-art green building, which was inaugurated by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani,” says Patel.
TRAINING & UPDATION
The bank has created in-house staff training center and appointed an ex-banker from nationalized bank as its head to upgrade the skill sets of its employees and impart computer literacy. The training hall, with all modern conveniences, has a capacity to accommodate 140 persons at a time.
“We have been conducting training month on month basis and educate the staff about CBS, loan appraisals, audit of cooperative societies, GST, TDS, KYC and general banking. Vendors of software companies are also involved in such programs. Besides, programs are conducted to create awareness among the staff about cyber security and on measures needed to counter cybercrimes,” says Patel.
The bank also encourages staff members to attend training programs conducted by NICM, VAMNICOM and BIRD-NABARD. During 2018, it provided training to 995 staff members in 28 training sessions on various subjects. So far, it has 272 employees under in 16 programs to various institutes. It now intends to conduct 2-3 training programs on monthly basis.
The bank’s technology partners had provided online and telephonic support for the selection of CBS, its implementation and testing. Prior to the introduction of CBS, the bank was using Autosoft TBA system since 2006. It has been using multiple brands of servers but had a single brand for desktops to manage resources availability and manageability. Says Patel: “For CBS, we have worked with InfrasoftTech. We are using Dell and IBM servers and HP desktops. We have implemented virtualization to improve overall uptime for all the applications,” says Patel.
The bank has maintained redundancy at hardware, software and network levels. It has created a security system through anti-virus programs and other prevention measures and prescribed internet/network access privileges through monitoring software. Sanghvi Info Tech is the service provider for networking and the company has helped the bank in customization of its systems as and when required.
Nareshbhai Patel reveals that by using mobile van the bank has been able to increase CASA deposits by 19.70% yoy
Chairman Nareshbhai Patel, CM Vijaybhai Rupani, vice chairman Sandip Desai at the inauguration of new HO building