Alternative banking channels will complement traditional ones

by Darinia Khongwir    Apr 01, 2013

CVG Prasad

ING Vysya has always been in the forefront of IT adoption be it Internet or mobile banking. It is currently in the process of upgrading its Core Banking Systems to meet the high demand for alternative channels of banking. C V G Prasad, CIO, ING Vysya, talks to CXOToday on the bank’s IT priorities for this fiscal year. Excerpts.

Given the current economic scenario and the competitive banking industry landscape, what are the challenges faced by ING Vysya?

As the banking landscape becomes more competitive, the global economic scenario remains challenging and consumers are able to spend lesser time; Banking is becoming more dynamic than ever. Banks have to be able to manage risk, costs and yet attract clients with newer services. Banks need to build an ecosystem which enables their clients to interact across multiple access channels. These challenges are no different for us.

How do these challenges impact IT deployment within the bank?

Time to market and the quality / agility of service are becoming the key for business users. This is automatically increasing the importance and dependency on technology. IT deployments need to be more agile. Technology needs to look at delivering more and more services online through various alternate delivery channels.

The Indian banking industry has been characterised by a slew of innovations across products and channels. At ING Vysya, do you emphasise on innovations and if so, what role does IT play in these?

In our bank, technology certainly plays a key enabler role and is at the centre of whatever innovations that we introduce in the channels and products area. For example, we recently introduced an innovative Fixed Deposits product called ‘FDPlus’. IT played a key role in powering this product through technology innovation; using a simple SMS-based innovation our customers can open a fixed deposit account while they are on the move. We have already seen the benefit in terms of good response from our customers for this product.

Internet banking has provided a great alternative channel, while optimising transactional costs. Mobile banking seems poised to provide yet another alternative. Do you see the importance of traditional channels diminishing in the coming years?

Yes. With the changing lifestyles and with more people coming under the ‘Technology Native’ customer segment, Internet banking and mobile banking are becoming very important from the alternate delivery of services point of view. The adoption surely is going to increase, with more and more services getting delivered through these channels. Having said that, these in my opinion, are going to complement the traditional channels but never be a complete replacement at least in the Indian context.

Now that the banking sector is gearing up for compliance to Basel III. What would be its impact from an IT deployment standpoint? What challenges do you foresee?

Yes. Technology plays an important role in supporting any regulatory compliance. We already have a plan in place from the technology point of view, work is at an advanced stage in the implementation of necessary technology solutions.

What are your bank’s IT priorities for the next fiscal year?

As always, our focus is to actively support business in their growth strategy. Apart of powering various product innovations through technology, our key focus will be on taking more and more services online through our alternate delivery channels that is Internet and mobile banking. We are currently making sizeable investments at modernising our datacentres to support the anticipated business growth in the next 5-7 years and also upgrading our Core Banking solution to the latest version.