Wednesday, September 18, 2013

India Post banking system roll-out moves to user acceptance

Infosys is embarking on training India Post staff in how to use its Finacle banking system after completing the roll-out of the system at 155,000 post offices in India.

India Post is moving to the user acceptance phase of a project that began in August 2012, after Infosys won the contract to supply a core banking system to India Post.

C. N. Raghu, head of Infosys in India, said that, with 40% of the Indian population having no bank account, India Post with 155,000 branches is the ideal organization to get rural people into the banking system. India Post has one branch per 8,000 people and 21km2.

“We have finished our part of the project and will start user acceptance,” sad Raghu. “When we have finished that, the government standards agency will look at it and then it’s up to India Post to start using it.”

Infosys is to roll out 10,000 tablet devices to India Post staff that will integrate Finacle and enable the company to provide mobile banking services to rural people. This is the second project won by Infosys and, if successful, more tablets will be rolled out.

This will ensure banks can connect the last mile to citizens, according to Raghu. “An India Post worker will be able to take the banking system to people that can’t reach a bank.”

More people will want to set up bank accounts as the Aadhaar (UID) project – the Indian government's plan to issue all of its citizens biometric ID cards – gathers pace. With a unique ID, many more people will be able to set up bank accounts.

The combination of the reach of India Post and the technology will help Indian citizens that have so far been left out of the banking system. “This could be a powerful tool for financial inclusion,” sad Raghu.

The Indian government stands to benefit when cash currently invisible to the financial system re-appears, much of it taxable. According to research from Gartner, Indian banking and securities companies will spend about 417bn INR on IT in 2013, compared to 369bn INR in 2012.

There is pressure on Indian banks to become more competitive and gain large customer bases. The Reserve Bank of India – which regulates the Indian financial sector – recently announced guidelines for new companies to enter the banking sector which is leading to greater competition.

In May this year the Department of Posts (DoP) awarded Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) a six-year contract worth 11,000m INR to provide an end-to-end IT modernization program for India Post.

The program includes developing and supporting mail, finance & accounts, HR, customer interaction management solutions including the rural ICT platform, data migration, infrastructure, call center and centralized with 24-hour service desk operation for all DoP. As core system integrator, TCS has responsibility for the overall integration of the end-to-end security system Enterprise Management System (EMS).


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