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Press Coverage- Banknet India's Second International Bank Tech Summit- 21st September 2006

Shri. V. Leeladhar, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India was the Chief Guest and Mr. Arvind Sharma, Member Secretary, Governing Council and Director, IDRBT was the Guest of Honour. Summit was attended by more than 300 participants from 128 organizations in 10 countries.

29 prominent speakers from RBI, major banks, business schools & IT companies across the globe in 6 session tracks discussed key areas related to Risk Management and Basel-II, Internet & Mobile Banking, Financial Frauds & Information Security, ATMs- Outsourcing, Networks & Trends, Technology for Cooperative & Smaller Banks, Business Intelligence & Knowledge Management.

Summit was covered by The Economic Times, Financial Express, The Business Standard, Indian Express, Hindu-Business Line, DNA Money, PTI,,,, CXO Today, Zee TV etc. For more details on Bank Tech Summit... Click here

Inaugural Address by Shri V Leeladhar, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India ... Click here

Pilot project on financial inclusion to start soon at Mizoram
September 21, 2006

Mumbai, Sep 21: In a major step towards financial inclusion, a pilot project, supported by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), to bring financial services to the semi-urban and rural masses would be rolled out in Mizoram in the next six weeks.

The financial inclusion project (FIP) will provide the beneficiaries a credit card with biometric identification to help them carry out their online and off-line banking and other financial transactions by using a variety of delivery channels like banking facilitators, banking correspondent and mobile ATMs, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) Director Arvind Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of Banknet India’s second international Bank Tech summit here today.

"Six banks including State Bank of India, Andhra Bank, ICICI, HDFC and others have agreed to be a part of the project to help take financial services to the people," he said.

The major feature of the pilot would be a common infrastructure for preparing the credit cards which will have the biometric security feature.

"It will help in reducing the costs. Also, the cards fitted with a chip will have a storage space of 4k which can be very well used for storing data other than that of the banking transactions," he said.

The card would be equipped to store the transaction, loan history and can function like any ATM card or a credit card at point of sale outlets.

"Another important feature is the interoperatability between the banks allowing the customer to use the card at different banking outlets," he said.

Automation has failed to curb bank frauds

The Hindu- Business Line
September 22, 2006

Most banks implemented core banking solutions (CBS) for centralised operations, but the networked automation failed to take into consideration the controls necessary for checking frauds.

Banks have now realised that the checks and controls established in the days of manual operations have either been rendered irrelevant or found wanting in preventing fraudulent transactions.

Sensing the need for an urgent review of the controls, banks, under the auspices of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), have set up a working group to re-examine the checks and controls in a centrally automated environment.

The group, headed by Sanjay Sharma, advisor - IT, IDBI Bank, and CEO of IDBI Intech, has representatives from Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank, Indian Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank as members.

The working group will recommend new controls that need to be put in place and the checks to be built in for remote access provided to faceless customers, and also identify areas where frauds are committed through advanced technology.

The group will also work on how to ensure checks and controls for new channels such as ATMs, internet banking and mobile banking.

With the introduction of CBS, banks’ operations have been shifted from branches to central units at back offices.

Also, with the introduction of single window concept, electronic channels and faceless banking, the processes in banks had to be re-engineered. Also, it is being increasingly felt that the earlier controls are either irrelevant or insufficient.

IBA said, “Fraudsters are using advanced technology, in the form of colour photo copy, skimming, hacking, phishing and pharming, to defraud banks. So, there is an urgent need to review the checks and controls already in place in banks, in view of the new processes and channels.”

Sharma said the whole exercise was expected to be completed and a report submitted to IBA by the first week of October. Earlier, the customer was of a branch, but now he belonged to the bank with anywhere banking made possible by CBS, he added.

Could mobiles revolutionize banking sector?

Money Control India
September 22, 2006

While Internet banking has made inroads into India, it still faces stiff challenges such as low Internet usage and broadband penetration. Meanwhile, mobile banking, considered to be the next evolution in the banking space, looks all set to revolutionize the banking sector.

At the Banknet India’s second international Bank Tech summit held in Mumbai on Thursday, Chief Technology Officer at Atom Technologies (a mobile and Internet connectivity solution provider), Sharad Aggarwal said, "There are about 68,000 bank branches in this country and 23,000 ATMs. But what's astounding is that the number of mobile subscribers in India, which is 85 million, is growing by 5 million each month. So while today mobile banking is still not as widely used, the possibilities are limitless."

He added that micropayments for meals, air tickets, movie tickets, etc, are some of the options mobile banking is looking to turn into a reality.

Deputy MD at SBI, Syed Shahabuddin told moneycontrol that mobile banking should gain more visibility in the next 2-3 years.

"Mobile banking should be very visible in the next 2-3 years. In the next 5 years it should rule a large segment of the micro payment industry. However, right now the major challenge it faces is regulatory, so it needs to deal with that before it goes forward," said Shahabuddin.

Unlike online banking, mobile banking has certain advantages on its side. It would not attract much investment from the bank and would not need a change in the existing infrastructure of the bank. However, for now; security, transaction time and interoperability are some of the major challenges that mobile banking would need to overcome.

Head- Product Management at Reliance Communications, Heramb Ranade feels that while net and mobile banking have challenges like reach and literacy, companies like Reliance are betting big on their Broadband Banking Kiosk pilot project.

"This is a project, which is still at the concept stage, we are getting the building blocks together. After that it will be largely the work of the banks, who will have to collaborate and get the necessary approvals from the regulators," he says.

Such Banking Kiosks will typically look like ATMs, but will offer facilities such as account details, instant photos to be attached to application forms related to insurance, IPO information, instant acknowledgement slips, etc. "A phone will also be intergrated with such banking kiosks to allow phone banking, along with the other services. Customers could also have a video conference with a bank executive," added Ranade.

But walking into a Kiosk might still seem more tedious than punching few numbers on your laptop or mobile. Ranade believes these banking Kiosks will compliment other banking services and will work in tandem with services offered on mobile phones and the Internet.

"I don’t see any drawback in such a service. In the absence of a mobile banking channel, something like this works. Even though mobile usage is extensive, we still have a lot of PCOs in the country. So every thing has its space. These are not conflicting channels but are complimenting channels," opines Ranade.

The company is not yet in talks with banks, and since the concept itself is at a preliminary level, Ranade believes it is a part of the evolving ecosystem.

Despite all the challenges, it appears that the Indian banking industry is all set to introduce more banking channels in its relentless drive towards customer satisfaction, provided the customer is willing to accept the change.

We'll make counterfeiting impossible: Collins

Money Control India
September 22, 2006

NCR Corporation (NCR), the US-based technology and services major that operates in business segments such as data warehousing, ATMs and customer services, is betting big on the Indian rural ATM space.

Senior Vice President (Financial Solutions Division), NCR Corp., Malcolm Collins spoke exclusively to moneycontrol on the sidelines of the Banknet India’s second international Bank Tech summit in Mumbai on Thursday.

Excerpts from the exclusive interview with moneycontrol: Read here

Self-Service Revolution Is Here
September 22, 2006

Technology solutions provider NCR believes that the Indian banking industry needs to prepare itself for the growing self-service trend among the customers and utilize technology for offering customers a superior banking experience.

Advent of self-service technologies such as telephone, Internet, automated teller machine (ATM), Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale (EFTPOS) terminals has meant that more and more customers are beginning to do their transactions outside the bank branches as per their convenience.

"Consumers worldwide have really taken to the idea of self-service and India is no exception. The basic philosophy behind the self-service theory is convenience, efficiency and shorter transaction time. In a bid to satisfy these demands of the new age customer, banks everywhere have rolled out different channels such as web, e-mail, mobile, IVR, ATM etc. that provide customers with different modes of carrying out their transactions," said Malcolm Collins, Sr. VP Financial Solutions Division, NCR on the sidelines of the Banknet India’s second international Bank Tech summit in Mumbai.

Speaking further he said, "Customers today are asking for more and more facilities to be provided through these channels. Gone are the days when ATMs were simple cash dispensing machines, today's ATMs are highly sophisticated multi-functional machines that perform variety of tasks such as cash deposit, cheque deposit, bill payment and other non-cash transactions. Other modes such as Internet have also become increasingly versatile and allow customers do all their banking without having to go to an actual bank branch."

However, according to Collins, it is where the problems are beginning to start and a lot of banks are starting to face issues in integrating and controlling their different delivery channels. He suggested that banks should employ technology that would facilitate greater interoperability and lead to increased transparency at the operational levels.

The other concern is security. In light of growing incidents of fraud and financially motivated cyber crimes, customers and banks alike are becoming increasingly wary of falling prey to such instances. Collins proposed that by utilizing sophisticated technologies such as fraud detection systems and regularly assessing their software systems banks can combat the menace to a great degree of success.

"ATM which is still the most prevalent transaction channel in India can be made more secure by leveraging technologies such as biometrics and voice recognition. Using smart cards, RFID and algorithm to authenticate transactions could also give users added sense of security," said Collins.

Whether banks like it or not, customers in future are bound to go in for delivery channels other than bank-branches. It may not be to the extent that branches will become empty hallways, but surely customers will show a bent towards banking outside confines of branch and hence Indian banks will need to invest in creating these channels if they hope to exist in the ever so competitive environment.

To go back to Page 1 of Bank Tech Summit Press Coverage... Click here

Inaugural Address by Shri V Leeladhar, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India ... Click here

For more Press releases ... Click here

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