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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

IT has revolutionised banking operations

Mangalore: The diverse applications of information technology (IT) in banking sector � from the days of local area networks (LANs) to the current era of Internet banking, from the days of the use of Advanced Ledger Posting Machines (ALPMs) to the present branchless banking models � and the future outlook for IT in banking were discussed in detail at a Business Line Club lecture on �IT: Evolution, Usage and Future� at Mangalore University on Monday.

Making a presentation on the topic, B.R. Bhat, General Manager (IT), Corporation Bank, told MBA students of the university that IT had helped in handling larger volume of business, and it also ensured improved productivity levels and reduced transaction costs.

As innovations galore in IT sector, there will be no end to dreams and new ideas. However, there is a need to keep abreast with the changes to succeed, he said.

Stating that IT had helped banks to make foray into hitherto un-banked segments, he said branchless banking model uses business correspondents as agents with the use of RFID and smart card-based authentication systems.

While extensive networks of ATMs are offering various banking services to the customers, biometric ATMs in rural areas are now catering to the needs of illiterate customers.

Highlighting the benefits of mobile banking, Bhat said SMS banking alerts are emerging as an ideal option to reach the large customer base using mobile phones. At the end of January, the country had around 24.24 crore mobile subscribers.

Touching upon the other IT initiatives in banking, he said e-mail facility has gone beyond closed user group to exchange information with the customers and other stakeholders.

On the future of IT in banking sector, Bhat felt that device-based operations will replace computers and service-based applications will replace the browser-based ones in the days to come.

To impart a personal banking feeling, there may be focus on video banking and video servicing.

While data management will be the focus instead of data, collaborative commerce will replace mass marketing. Innovative authentication technologies may emerge in the days to come, he said.

Bhat felt that future for the country is bright, as today�s young generation is sharp and fast in grasping and adapting to the technology based offerings. In addition to this, 70 per cent of the population in the country is less than 36 years of age unlike countries like China with a large component of aged population.

G.R. Venkatesh, Deputy Regional General Manager of The Hindu, Mangalore, proposed a vote of thanks and explained the activities of Business Line Club on the occasion.

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