A primary cooperative bank in Kerala has come up with a life breather for the cooperative sector across the country which is facing life threat following restrictions imposed by Reserve Bank of India on currency transactions. The digital currency introduced by the primary cooperative bank challenges the hegemony of e-payment wallets which requires a smartphone to operate. Anyone with a mobile phone can make use of this facility, and it does not need a smartphone. 
 

Thenhipalam Cooperative Bank in Malappuram has developed a mobile application called CooPaisa which facilitates e-payment service to hundreds of persons who has accounts at the bank. The cooperative bank has already made arrangements with local shops, autorickshaws, fish vendors and taxis within a 20 km area.  
 

The mobile app enables over 21, 000 bank customers and 1000 odd merchandise shops in the perimeter to make purchases or pay for an autoride without using currency.  

 

 

Using CooPaisa is a hassle free process as it deducts the amount directly from savings account while mobile wallets must be refilled when they run out of cash. 
 

Those with a smartphone can complete their transaction by scanning the QR code displayed at the shops while others have to rely on the one-time-password (OTP) sent to the phone. There is no minimum limit for the transaction as customers can make a purchase for ₹1 to ₹10,000 per day. 
 

The app was launched on Friday and is available for customers in six panchayats - Thenhipalam, Pallikkal, Munniyur, Peruvallur, Chelembra and Vallikkunnu.
 

"We are getting positive feedback from our customers and vendors have reported an increase in sale since the launch of the app," bank president Pradeep Menon said. 
 

The bank authorities stated that they are expecting more than 4000 customers to use the facility. More than 1,200 customers have already downloaded the app within three days of its launch. "Most of our customers are senior citizens, and they will take the time to adapt to new technology," project coordinator Sreejit Mullasseri said. 
 

The bank had mooted the project three months back and says they never anticipated such a contingency at planning state. However, demonetisation and following issues helped them popularise the app easily. 
 

Customers are highly concerned about their money deposited in cooperative banks, which is the lifeline of rural Kerala. With the digital payment facility, Thenhipalam Cooperative Bank hopes to retain their customers.