A case study on Odisha State Cooperative Bank (SCB) & its 17 District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs)
The Odisha State Cooperative Bank (OSCB) is one of the Scheduled State Cooperative Banks incorporated under the Orissa Cooperative Societies Act since 1948. Since its inception, the Bank has been playing a pivotal role in transforming the agrarian economy of the State.
OSCB has been reaching out to the farmer community of the state through its strong network of 17 District Central Co-operative Banks (DCCBs) and 2700+ Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
Bank on Wheels
‘Bank on Wheels’ is an innovative concept introduced by OSCB to reach more and more financially excluded communities in the interiors of the Odisha state.
Under the leadership of managing director, Mr. T K Panda, ‘Bank on Wheels’ is incorporated as a part of vision to engage with customers and respond to their needs in a simple, easy yet smart way.
OSCB – Finacus Partnership
OSCB has taken firm steps in improving the cooperative banking scenario of the state by implementation of the Core Banking System (CBS) project in all the DCCBs by establishing a state-of-the-art Data Management Centre at its headquarters connecting all 355 units.
More recently, OSCB has entered into an agreement with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to implement its retail banking services like NFS, IMPS, AEPS, etc. in order to enhance customer experience and financial inclusion.
Finacus has been taken on board by OSCB as a technology partner to implement all these services for OSCB as well as its 17 DCCBs.
Scope of this Case Study
This case study gives details of the project of getting OSCB and its 17 DCCBs on National Financial Switch (NFS) and RuPay cards of NPCI.
Being the largest network of shared automated teller machines (ATMs) in India, NFS plays a key role in shifting the paradigm towards a ‘less-cash’ society by ensuring factors like ease of use, convenience and availability of plastic money i.e. cards. Basic transactions provided by NFS include Cash Withdrawal, Balance Enquiry, Mini Statement and PIN change through ATMs, Micro-ATMs and Kiosks. It supports both on-us and off-us transactions which enables optimum utilization of the existing infrastructure of all the members (banks) on this shared network thereby ensuring better availability and convenience to end card users in remote locations.
RuPay is the domestic brand of cards which can be issued by the banks at reasonable eligibility criteria. It started with the Debit Card Scheme and has recently announced Credit Card Scheme as well. RuPay cards can help in customer education and propagate a gradual shift from cash to plastic money as these cards can be used at ATMs, POS and e-commerce platforms.
Membership of Banks, FinCONNECT, RuPay – Card Life Cycle Management
FinCONNECT is Financial Transaction Switch which connects a Bank’s ATMs to the NFS network of NPCI.
While OSCB has joined the NFS as a Direct member , its 17 DCCBs have been taken on board as Sub-members with OSCB acting as their Sponsor Bank. This arrangement has relieved the DCCBs from the hassles and heavy costs incurred while establishing and maintaining direct membership with NFS and RBI.
All the banks including OSCB are on shared ASP model / Hosted model of FinCONNECT. Hence they didn’t need to invest time, money or efforts in building, maintenance and connectivity of the entire infrastructure and straightaway reap its benefits.
70+ ATMs of all banks put together have been installed and are working in addition to the mobile ATMs.
Documentation with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) With multiple banks together going for a turn-key project, it was critical to make sure that documentation with NPCI went smoothly and meticulously. Finacus conducted guidance sessions at multiple locations to make the banks understand and prepare the end-to-end documents and follow the procedure for approval.
ConnectivityChallenges regarding connectivity were faced as most of the ATMs are located in remote areas and wireless connectivity is required for ATMs on moving vehicle.
Integration with Core BankingIntegration with third party core banking system in all the banks was done by building compatible interface that ensured seamless experience.
Coordination & CommunicationEffective and consistent communication between the implementation team and banks were the key to achieve common goals within desirable time period.
Scalability, Reliability, SustainabilityThe solution built after detailed analysis of the project, is highly scalable to handle large volumes, reliable even under critical situations and sustainable in the long run.
Innovative ideaThe concept of ‘Bank on Wheels’ is unique in itself that facilitates services like ATM, information kiosk and features of full-fledged branch at the doorstep.
Government SupportThe project received tremendous support and accolades from government.
Financial InclusionThrough this project, OSCB and Finacus have paved a way to include remote and tribal dominated blocks of the state under structured financial system.
Customer Acceptance of new technology More than 7.5 lakh RuPay Debit Cards have been issued and the numbers are still growing. This itself is the indication of customer’s inclination towards this techno-financial success.
Overall, this project brought tremendous learning experiences on both the sides and great leap of growth and opportunities.