The Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (TNPF and IDCL), wholly owned by the government of Tamil Nadu, has seen a four-fold increase in new deposits to ₹100 crore during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown period, thanks to launch of its online services.

The company is registered with the RBI as a deposit taking Non-Banking Financial Company. It mobilises funds through various fixed deposit schemes and provides financial assistance to infrastructure projects.

“We launched the online services from March 20, which could be accessed through web portal and our Android app. Even though it was a soft launch, it has been a huge hit among consumers through word of mouth. In the offline mode, we collected ₹25 crore and now we have seen a huge jump online,” said a senior official.

Through online services customers can open new deposits, renew deposits, update contact details, nominee details and submit tax forms.

“We have seen about 97,000 transactions being done online. We have also introduced video KYC,” the official said.

He also said because of the launch of online services, the company has been able to attract deposits from dozen of other States.

“Now a customer can open deposits within five minutes and renew a deposit within a minute,” the official said.

He said with banks reducing deposit rates, the rates offered by Tamil Nadu Power Finance is 2-3% higher than banks. For senior citizens, deposit rates stand at 8.75% for a 3 year deposits.

As on September 12, 2019, the company had around 10,02,310 deposits worth ₹27,422 crore, including government schemes. Of these, active retail (individuals and trusts) deposits stood at 1,26,142 in number and were worth ₹5,526 crore.

The official said senior citizens account for 34% of their deposit base and one of the key challenges is that some of them are not tech savvy and are not able to use the online facility. To address this challenge, the company is planning two initiatives. “One of it is Interactive Voice Response or IVR facility, which we will launch in a week. The other one we are considering is door step services for a fee,” the official said. The company is planning to launch a chatbot facility.

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