IT Initiatives in Financial Inclusion , By: -

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IT Initiatives in Financial Inclusion
Introduction :
Financial Inclusion involves reaching out to a large number of households who had hitherto not availed any financial services from the Banking Sector and bringing them to the Banking fold.
Need for Information Technology:
These people normally belong to the lowest strata of the society and are predominantly from the underprivileged sections of the society. To bring them to the Banking fold involves reaching out to them at their doorstep, as they would be deprived of their livelihood for that day, if they were to come to the premises of the Bank for fulfilling their Banking needs. Further, they may not possess all the Know Your Customers (KYC) documents prescribed for normal accounts and hence the regulator has prescribed relaxed KYC norms. These accounts typically involve high volume transactions of low value and hence require more manpower to service them

To reduce the pressure on our manpower at branches, we have automated some of the repetitive tasks and provided IT based solutions to the branches.

Intervention of Information Technology is required not only for handling repetitive tasks at the branches but also for reducing the cost of operations and for increased efficiency. Transforming the manual data to an electronic format also helps in facilitating queries and reports both structured and adhoc.

Steps Initiated:

a) Facility to Open Corp Pragathi Accounts :
All Core Banking Branches and TBA branches have been provided with an option to upload the data from a data file. Branches can enter the details of the accounts through an off-line data entry program. This would enable opening of the Party Master and Account Master. The transactions alone need to be entered for these accounts.
b) Warnings and Exception Reports :
The Core Banking and TBA software has been modified to provide for warning messages in the Exception Report when the balance in the Corp Pragathi accounts exceeds the parameterized value or when the turnovers in the accounts exceed the parameterized amount. Presently, this limit has been set to Rs.40,000 /- and Rs. 1,00,000 /- respectively.
c) Survey Automation:
All Semi-urban and Rural branches of the Bank conduct a survey of all the households in a particular, chosen village primarily to identify the number of adult individuals! households who have not got access to any of the financial services and thorough this survey the Bank also intends to cross sell some of its products and services. This survey is conducted by outside agencies and the details collected by them provide valuable information to the Branch as to the number of individuals who intend availing a loan or other products offered by the Bank. The manual survey sheets do not facilitate querying and hence there was a felt need to automate these survey formats. While automating the survey formats, we have developed the software so as to enable capture of information at the survey site or to enter the details in a laptop / desktop from the manual forms.
Laptop / Desktop Software :
This software has been developed in ASP / .NET technology and the programs have been developed to run on Windows XP operating system. The software is a self-installable program that can be ported on a Desktop or Laptop that runs either Windows 2000 or Windows XP. The application has been interfaced with a Web Camera (Webcam) to facilitate capture of photographs on -site and linking it to the database. The Web Camera should be a TWAIN compatible. The software provides for capture o f 6 photographs per household and the survey format has been structured into three sections:
i) Village Information
This information is captured only once for each of the village that is being surveyed and contains the basic information of the village including the number of households and the availability of infrastructure. Each village entered is allotted a number that is the branch code and a running serial number.
ii) Family Information
This information is captured once for each family and a unique family-id is created which is Branch Code + Village Code + Running Serial Number. Hence the first family Id for Kulamangalam Branch would be 40440411 (404 + 4041 + 1).

The family details enables capture of information that is common for the family like Religion, Caste, Ration Card Particulars, Extent of Land Owned, Assets Owned, No. Of Family Members / Children.
iii) Family Members Information:
This information is captured for all individuals of the family and links the family members to a family id. The information captured in this screen includes details such as Existing Bank Account particulars, Willingness to open an account, Loans with Money Lenders, LIC Policies owned, interested activity etc.,
The advantages of entering the details of the survey form on to a Desktop are as follows:
a) Enables creation of a database
b) Facilitates structured or adhoc querying and reporting
c) Prevents Loss or Destruction of data
d) Facilitates consolidation of data
e) Serves as a Single Point of Reference
Enables access of information from anywhere
g) Facilitates printing of Account Opening Form
h) Enables creation of a file for uploading the same to TBAICore
On completion of the entry of survey forms, the system facilitates generation of Corp Pragathi (CPSB) Savings Bank Account Opening forms along with the photograph of the users. This is printed only for family members who have expressed their desire to open an account with the Bank.

The system also facilitates generation of data file for uploading to the Core Banking / TBA database.
The system also provides an option to generate the Corp General Credit Card (CGCC) application-cum-sanction letter for those customers for whom the CGCC card has been issued.

This would save time and effort for the branch users when they handle opening of large number of accounts.
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