Data Analytics for management for Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), leveling-up the cybersecurity infrastructure, rebuilding trust, and setting up People management mechanism, are the top list of priorities while operations after lockdown, opine experts representing Co-operative banks.
While talking about the Business Continuity Plans and preparedness to fight back Covid-19 during a live webinar organised by Elets Technomedia, top executives from Co-operative banks spoke about the concern pertaining to the rise of NPAs, Cybersucity scare due to high popularity of the Work From Home option, need to manage people when they come back to the branches after the lockdown and earning the trust people lost after several financial frauds.
“COVID is an opportunity for the Co-operative Banks to improve and level-up their services at par with the private banks”, says Vishal Rathod, Chief Information Officer, NKGSB Co-op Bank Ltd.
“This is an era of co-operative banks and we have a huge scope of improvement. The public and private banks have already saturated their limits because they have been investing in technology for a long time. We have a set range of customers who are loyal to us. So, the co-operative banks are the next in line. We have put customers at the centre prior to making any deployments and keep that in mind how the technology can make their lives easier. Services should be provided to them at a faster and cheaper manner. Customer experience is going to play a big role,” stated Rathod.
Talking about how NPAs are going to become a challenge post COVID, Rathod stated, “NPAs are going to become a huge challenge after COVID because a lot of businesses are not going to do well. So, forecasting those NPAs upfront and helping our Business Recovery Teams to come up with the right strategy to deal with the account in terms of measures and strategies that we are working on. So we need strong data and analytics.”
Experts from around the sector are underlining the fear of cyber threats due to the adoption of Work From Home option due to the usage of personal laptops and less secure internet connections.
Explaining his point of view on this, Rathod says, “Creating a good and secure infrastructure is our priority. We have to be ready with a situation where our employees are working from home and we all know that COVID scare is not going to evade so soon so infrastructure and security services to deal with the situation should be ready. So, cybersecurity is significant for us.”
While lockdown will eventually ease and relaxations on the access to several services will happen sometime soon. However, the effect of corona and its infection will sustain till the time a solution to terminate its presence is initiated by health care professionals and agencies.
Talking about the challenge that banks are most likely to face when they hit the branches like before and urgent need to set up a people management system for the safety as well as the customers safety, Milind Varerkar, General Manager IT, Saraswat Bank says, “Post covid, customers would be coming back to the branch. So, we should have a strong people management policy in place, as well as an employee-friendly policy where they will feel confident and safe to come back to their work stations and customers, should also feel secure to visit the branch. Besides, we will have to explore the area of convergence with Fintech for the deployment of better technologies and API would be on the priority list to capture the customer information.”
“People would also be hesitant to visit the branches and in that case how should we reach them to complete their demands on loans and advances. So, in that case, there should be a system in place where they can submit their documents such as Video KYC and others. Additionally, we need to have a robust cybersecurity infrastructure in place to deal with threats,” says Varerkar.
While new challenges are emerging during the pandemic situation, taking care of the older challenges that were there prior to the outbreak, is significant too.
Shekhar Atmaram Desai, CEO, Thane Sahakari Bank Ltd says, “The first and foremost priority would be to re-establish the trust and relationship with our customers. Because of the recent discrepancies from several banks, people’s trust in lenders has actually shaken. As far as NPAs are concerned, the moratorium granted by the Reserve Bank of India would help in keeping things in place. My request to the lender would be pertaining to a further extension on the moratoriums to 12 twelve months rather than granting three months on installments. Additionally, technology is oxygen so the deployment of newer is significant too.”