Technology Powers ICICI Bank's Product Offerings
ICICI Bank will soon become the first Indian bank to offer online trade financing for enterprises, through its corporate Internet banking (CIB), if the pilot becomes a success. The bank also plans to deploy cheque truncation systems and C Query Cards for better corporate cheque deposit process.
However, all these initiatives will be made possible due to the strong IT support from the bank’s Tech lab in downtown Mumbai.
Speaking to CXOtoday, Ajay Gupta, Joint GM- head - cash management services, ICICI Bank Ltd., said, “The trade finance activity is handled by a document management solution from Staffware. Trade financing is a document heavy process that passes through many layers of regulatory cross verification. We aimed at reducing the paperwork, which subsequently reduces the time consumption in the process.”
According to Gupta, “Trade happens at B category branches. The idea was to move a customer’s details and documents (in the form of scanned images) from the branch to the regional trade service unit (RTSU), in the first phase, and finally to global trade service unit (GTSU). The bank has 5 RTSUs in the country and one GTSU in Mumbai. This has resulted in the consolidation of the transaction of the branches.”
Explaining the operation of the online system, Gupta added, “The client details passes through three phases namely the scrutiniser, the maker, and the checker. The scrutiniser checks for the regulatory compliances in the document. In case of discrepancy, a rejection case is generated and sent to the client online otherwise, the document flows to the maker who subsequently feeds in relevant data of the client. Finally, the checker validates the data entered by the maker.”
Apart from facilitating the customer transaction, the system also allows for calculating man-hour parity and employee performance evaluation. The solution that was implemented in September 2002, helps the bank in offering around six products to the customers currently.
A client can manage its supply-chain network, by using the CIB’s online fund transfer mechanism. The product facilitates one-to-one fund transfer between two linked accounts across the bank locations in India. In bulk fund transfers, once a flat file is uploaded containing payment/collection information, the system takes care of processing the entire file and then integrates the processed file to the client’s ERP for auto reconciliation.
The real life situation of user-wise limits and multilevel signatories can be mapped in the net-based fund transfer module too. The client can specify user-wise cap for funds transfer and the number of approvals needed for each fund transfer. The fund transfer will not take place unless the required number of signatories has approved it.
Gupta and his team also demonstrated the other systems that the bank is planning to deploy very soon. One of them is the cheque deposit and truncation system that ensures that the cheque is deposited to the desired person’s account as it prompts a name once the account number is entered. Once the cheque is deposited the customer gets an acknowledgement with a scanned image of the cheque on the receipt. Says Gupta, “We have plans to use these systems for even more productive purposes in future.”
The team also demonstrated a customer query card (C Query) that would help a visiting representative of an enterprise customer to know the status of its various accounts in the bank. Currently the facility is provided in 20 branches on a pilot basis. The bank also plans to deploy ATMs specific to the needs of rural areas. Concluded Gupta, “In all that we do at our bank, we have one focal point and that is the customer.”
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