(Cash withdrawal facility to be available at 3535 locations in villages)
(Punjab Coop bank makes strides for core banking solutions)
(Aims to ensure banking services in all unbanked rural areas)

Chandigarh February 19:

Aiming to deliver effective core banking services at village level the Punjab Government will install micro ATMs in its all 3535 primary agricultural cooperative societies (PACS) and district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) under its rural financial inclusion plan.

Disclosing this Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Financial Commissioner, Cooperation Mr. DP Reddy said cooperatives have played a vital role in improving the economic conditions of farmers and accelerating the pace of development in Punjab. In fulfillment of its goals, the department have brought both the services and resources at the doorsteps of villagers thereby covering every nook and corner of the state, he added.

He further informed that to extend the digital transaction facilities to rural populace, the NABARD had accepted a proposal sent by the cooperative department in this regard and sanctioned 4,545 micro ATMs by financing 90% of the cost of the device. He added that Punjab State Cooperative Bank (PSCB) along with its 20 DCCBs had become the first state cooperative bank in the country to start ATM, PoS/e-commerce services and was awarded for this by the NABARD.

Mr. Reddy said the PSCB was providing credit services to all sections of society since its establishment in 1949 and now making great strides towards fulfilling the aspirations of its stakeholders especially tillers and helping hands in all areas such as agriculture, housing, sugar production and dairy etc. Keeping its pace with the digital era, the state cooperative bank have already planned to extend digital banking solutions to unbanked areas of the state. This unique initiative would increase footfalls at cooperative institutions and provide an additional revenue stream to banks and societies, he emphasised.

Outlining the benefits of micro ATMs, Mr. Reddy said all transaction facilities like balance enquiry checking, cash deposit or withdrawal, fund transfer and remittance could be made through these handheld devices. The farmers, who were using other banks ATMs for Kisan Credit Card (KCC) purpose, could use these micro-ATMs at PACSs thereby save inter-bank transactional costs to be paid to other banks. In addition to this, customers could use any other bank’s debit card at these locations and no longer have to search for ATM’s or travels longer distances, he added.

ACS cooperation said after implementation of these core banking facilities farmers would be able to get the kind component fertilizers, seeds etc from nearest PACS by swiping of KCC card at micro ATMs. These ATMs allows the PACSs and branches to connect to the bank’s core banking solution to authenticate the customer via biometric or PIN at real-time basis. In branches, this handheld device could be used to authenticate the AADHAR number, eKYC, e-KYC account opening, AADHAAR based transactions (AADHAAR enabled payment system – AEPS) through biometric authentication from UIDAI database.

Mr. Reddy informed that the PSCB had signed an agreement with NIC to implement cooperative core banking solution application in all its branches to provide basic banking facilities to the customers. The banking staff would be able to provide quick response to queries or grievances, speedy disbursal of loans, transparency to the borrower and all information to the members at a single window. In addition to this, lesser staff requirement would result in lower transaction costs leading to higher profits and ultimately higher dividends to shareholders/members.

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