Federal Bank eyes digital transactions

Federal Bank plans to reach out to more than one lakh merchants for Unified Payments Interface-based transactions this financial year from the current 20,000, said chief operating officer Shalini Warrier.

The merchants will use UPI point-of-sale machines, mobile app or web app for transactions, she said.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing and merchant payments into one.

With the implementation of GST, the merchants will do more online filing and hence digital transactions were also expected to go up, Ms. Warrier told reporters.

The bank recently introduced a mobile banking app with additional security features for small and medium-scale enterprises and corporations. About 300 clients were using it now and the number is expected to go up to 10,000 this fiscal. Further, the bank has eased the process of opening accounts.

About 60% of the bank’s transactions were now through the digital mode and it was about 45% before November last year, she said.

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On the bank’s investments on the digital front, she said, “We do it across technology, marketing, etc. It is a critical part of our strategy.”

Bank recruitments

Though the focus was on digital transactions, there was no slowdown in recruitments by the bank. Apart from regular recruitments, “we will look for specialists on need-based requirements,” she said.

D. Sampath, chief general manager and head, network II, said the bank had 1,250 branches now and 650 of these were opened in the last couple of years.

Ms. Warrier said the bank’s capital adequacy ratio was at 12.39%. “Though we are adequately capitalised, we will be looking at raising capital in the next 12 months. This will be growth capital,” she said. The bank had tied up with SB Global Educational Resources and started the Federal Skill Academy as part of its corporate social responsibility.