IT plays prominent role in banking

CIOL Bureau
New Update



Top officials in the banking sector feel that technology is the engine, which

is driving the banking industry towards the path of growth.

According to Ms Madhabi Puri Buch, head corporate operations and technology,

the technology at ICICI has helped it to expose customers to world class

services. As a result, today, they are able to provide instant information,

instant access and instant services to customers.

IT has also helped the financial institution to expand ATMs across the

country. At present it has 1000 ATMs and the number is expected to increase.

Further ICICI has succeeded in providing comprehensive services to its customers

by expanding call centers. The institution was the first to launch digitally

signed contract notes.


Buch believes that application of latest technology ensures benefits to the

customers at a very low cost. It also holds the ability to scale up and handle

volatile volumes. She further added that so far ICICI has been successful in

passing on the economies of scale to customers and in providing online real

information. Buch further believes that it is the technology, which will allow

the industry to expand even in rural areas.

According to CN Ram, head, information technology, HDFC Bank, the banking

sector should be ready to spend money on technology in order to receive the

benefits out of it. However, he added that its not just sufficient to implement

technology, it is also necessary to ensure that its advantages are flowing

continuously. To implement technology it is important to get the architecture

right. The banking sector needs the ability to capture the developments in

technology and translate that.

PS Shenoy, chairman and managing director, Bank of Baroda is of the opinion

that, public sector banks are lacking value only due to lack in technology. He

believes that to become a world class bank it is necessary to implement high end

technology. It is necessary for the corporates to have a business plan otherwise

simple implementation of information technology will not yield the desired

results and it will be a total waste of resources. According to him if

technology is not implemented properly, then it will be a mere duplication of

manual efforts.


State Bank of India managing director and group executive (corporate

banking), Y Radhakrishnan, also stressed on the scope technology holds for the

banking sector. According to him, technology is the engine and quality of the

engine is the most important thing. He further added that the bankers have to

make investment on technology very seriously as everything has to be customer

oriented. The bank currently has a 90 million customer base with 25 million

transaction taking place every day. This has been possible through latest

technology. According to him it is of utmost importance to have the latest

technology and also it is important to get the staff involved for that.

Through technology, the cost of transactions can be reduced dramatically, as

a result the banking sector should focus on application of technology to expand

in the future. He further added that technology upgradation involves resistance

to change at all levels. He feels that it is important to communicate with

technology and State Bank of India is very committed to this role. He further

stated that by the end of 2002 the bank will have 1500 branches in 52 centers

and by June 2004, 80 per cent of the bank`s operations will be online.

Girija Pande, regional director, Asia-Pacific, TCS is of the view in order to

develop the banking sector through technology, banks have to move to the next

phase to increase returns. It all depends on how well the banks manage their

projects through technology. Whenever they plan moving into the net, major

changes in information technology should be taken into account. According to him

digitizing and straight-through processing should go in turn to make progress

with technology. Technology spread has to be justified and it is also necessary

to justify focus of the expenditure on technology.