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Technology is Time-tested Enabler

In calculating the habit of use of alternate channels by all sections of the customers other than traditional branch banking, not only adds to the convenience of the customers but also helps to bring the cost of operations. Foc using on this aspec t, Bank of India embarked on its technolog y journey by timely implementation of various alternate channels (kiosk, ATM, internet, mobile etc,) through its technology partners and thereby paved the way for meeting the objective of increasing the channel usage and reducing the cost of operations.

As much as 36% of the bank’s tr ansac tions tak e place through alternate channels and this is a major accomplishment for a public sector bank, says V.R. Iyer, CMD of the bank. She hastens to add: “This has been made possible by our reliance on technology – the best of breed technology – and we have leveraged on technology to the optimum possible.”

Iyer, who in her earlier assignments in other public sector banks handled hard core technology implementations, says Bank of India has been able to develop a flexible and scalable architecture designed to meet the changing needs of market dynamics and differentiate it from competition, including the highly tech-savvy new private banks. True, the bank today has state-of-the-art capabilities, its channels offer the best of products and services and with technology, it has been able to have a phenomenal RoI over the last five years. Combining core banking, business continuity and information manag ement, it has doubled its revenue and tripled its profits with fewer employees.

The bank was one of the first to recognize technology as a key driver for its business and to entrust technology services provider HP with some of its critical technology projects in an outsourced mode. This partner driven approach gave the bank an edge to catapult its business in a situation where the domain experts of the bank collaborate with the technology experts to achieve the desired performance. Several PSU banks followed this model subsequently.

Like other Indian banks, Bank of India had a branch-centric model which had major limitations. All customer relationships and processing were managed at the branch, with summary financial reporting taking place at the zonal office and bank headquarters. It was in 2002, that the bank decided to replace its legacy system, which was a PC-based, branch-based solution with a customer-centric model. Along with that came new multi-channel solutions available in a 24×7 marketplace with geography becoming history.

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