20% of Our Biz Must be from Mobile Bnkg: Bank CIOs

by Tabrez Khan    Jun 05, 2009

Mobile banking is one of the key challenges that HDFC bank will be focusing on in the near future, said Anil Jaggia, CIO, HDFC Bank. Although the benefits of mobile banking are many, the concept is yet in an early adoption stage, said Jaggia.

"Mobile tools have to go mainstream and at least five percent of our business has to come from the mobile channel in the near future," said the HDFC Bank CIO. "Every new technology has to make a beginning somewhere, but it also has to quickly go mainstream for it to be effective. In the long term, say over next 10 years, we want 20% of our transactions to happen over the mobile channel."

"ICICI Bank’s experience has been very good with mobile banking. 11% of our transactions happen through the mobile channel, either through a mobile browser or text messaging," said Pravir Vohra, group CTO, ICICI Bank.

The CIOs were speaking at a panel discussion on aligning IT with business organized by the Banknet Summit.

On some of the other technology challenges banks face today, Anil Jaggia said, "HDFC Bank has every kind of technology that a bank would need today. Our challenge is to take technology to the next level. We have Corebanking, Datawarehousing, Business Intelligence and other technologies; the key is now to position ourselves 10-15 years ahead in terms of technology deployment."

"Banks like HDFC and ICICI have a competitive advantage in terms of technology deployment over PSU banks, but the latter are fast catching up, so that’s another key challenge; to maintain technology leadership," said Jaggia.

Responding to a question on whether mobile banking can bring about financial inclusion of masses in rural areas, Pravir Vohra said that while mobile banking was a great tool which will be useful for customers, it cannot be viewed as a tool for financial inclusion. "Mobile phones are still shared in a large number of Indian families, so this model may not work for them," he said.

Will security be a hurdle to the spread of mobile banking? "No," said Anil Jaggia, "Security is more of a bogey, and the reality is that a lot of security concerns have been addressed so security is not a concern or hurdle to the spread of mobile banking."