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IT in Banking 2003 (Special)
  Perspectives of: CTOs of Banks in India
Areas, which will get the emphasis in IT plans/Strategy of banks...

Mrs S A Panse, Deputy General Manager (Information Technology), Bank of Maharastra is of view that as Asset-Liability management and Risk management have gained importance after liberalization and globalization, getting the data updated on real time basis for the organization is of prime importance. Establishing a WAN for connecting all the branches and moving towards Core Banking Solution is the prime business need. Further, in view of RBI's initiative for implementing various payment and settlement systems such as- NDS-PDO, CFMS, SMFS and RTGS, connectivity intrabank as well as interbank is also the basic necessity for every bank.

With RTGS being implemented by Jan.2004, every bank would have to not only computerize the entire functioning of the Treasury department but also would have to consolidate the treasury function and move towards integrated treasury for better funds management. In order to achieve this, IT would be playing a major role. This has gained more importance after the establishment of the CCIL.

Mr C.N. Ram, Chief Technology Officer, HDFC Bank feels that Connectivity of banks, Risk Management, Asset Liability Management systems and core banking will rank high in plans of Banks.According to Mr Pravir Vohra, Chief Technology Officer, ICICI Bank, Networking of branches, ALM & Risk management are going to be areas of top priority in IT plans/Strategy of banks.

According to Mr Neeraj B Bhai, Chief Technology Officer, IDBI Bank, in view of RBI's policy this year, Inter-bank payment systems are poised to move to a much higher degree of advancement during the year. WIth impending arrival of RTGS, all banks will have to gear up for it. While Multi-application smart card pilot has been indicated in the policy, its active usage is still quite some time away. The earlier Smart Card project of RBI had met with a limited success. National Settlement System will enhance the efficiency of funds management, which can now be centralised in a much better way.

Mr V.K. Ramani, President (Information Technology), UTI Bank is confident that the Policy announcements on the payment systems will pave the way for the establishment of the legal framework, for electronic settlements. The technology initiative taken by the RBI for setting up RTGS will have far reaching impact As follow up to the electronic clearing ECS, the move for an RTGS is logical extension.

According to Mr Ramani, the standards for inter operability of smart cards will enable multiple applications on a single chip. Currently smart cards are used for select applications. The technology for integrated applications is available but unless the volume of transactions is large, it is not an attractive proposition.

Mr Ravikiran Mankikar, Chief of Information Technology, Shamrao Vithal Co-Operative Bank feels that RBI's initiatives and encouragement to the Banks to implement payment and settlement systems in a secured environment is surely the first logical steps towards the introduction of the electronic funds transfer mechanism in a big way. Banks that are not geared up for the networking should fear to be left behind. Implementation of the Core Banking solutions are to be planned by Banks as part of their strategy to align with the RBI initiative.

Mr V Chandrasekhar, General Manager & Chief Technology Officer, Bank of Baroda summarises the key areas, which will get the emphasis in IT plans/Strategy of banks-
a. Networking of branches
b. Secure Messaging for launching funds transfer products
c. Integrated Treasury Management System
d. Focus on technology based initiatives for Intra-day liquidity Management
e. Core Banking Solution implementation



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