We Use Technology for Service Accessibility: PNB

by Muntazir Abbas    Feb 13, 2009

With technology implementation at core, Punjab National Bank (PNB) has set a milestone for PSU banks in India. K.C. Charabarthy, chairman and managing director, PNB speaks highly on taking banking technology to rural region.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) recently set a benchmark for PSU banks in India with the implementation of core banking technology throughout its banking facilities. Here K.C. Charabarthy, chairman and managing director, PNB, speaks on taking banking technology to rural regions.

"We use technology for the accessibility of service to users and customers. PNB demonstrated well that technology can be implemented efficiently and has taken a lead. We have given confidence to the public-sector banks," said Charabarthy

The bank embarked upon a technology transformation journey in 2001, and has recently realized its technology-enabled operations that are facilitated by some of the private technology service providers.

PNB has also initiated multi-lingual touchscreens to address the local banking issues, as well as ATMs for blind individuals. The bank’s technology-backed operations also facilitate e-payment initiatives of the Central government through Internet banking, including the collection of tax, fee and duty. "We are trying to evolve our business model, and working on achieving 100,000 touch points and penetration of banking services in 50,000 villages," he said.

According to Charabarthy, technology has increased business prospects in a cost-effective fashion. This has improved tax collection and rural banking network. The bank has already deployed core banking solution in more than 3,500 service outlets that help its customers to avail online services that include payment of utility bills and purchase of airline tickets.
 
"We’ll take technology across the length and breadth of the country so that we can generate more jobs," he said. Speaking on recession, Charabarthy said that it is a global phenomenon, and we can’t do anything. "It’s time to take technology to the rural region, and hence we can tackle global slowdown more effectively. It is high time we should increase IT spending, as well as utilize the opportunity to create infrastructure."

The bank has earned around Rs. 1,000 crore in profits during the last quarter of 2008. Its IT spend is more than Rs. 600 crore and that includes core banking solution. "Within the budget and timeframe, PNB has already trained its staff with necessary education in order to handle technology-driven tools," he said..