The popularity of "Apps" has grown tremendously in the recent years, with people across nations, irrespective of their age and gender, getting hooked to the "Apps" culture, thus overtaking the use of mobile websites.
Indian banks too have been building "Apps", but the requirements of customers and banks may not be met only by the internal teams of banks. Further, "Apps" are an area where there are talented individuals, geeks and small companies, who are working with great passion, and there is a need to tap these apps for the benefit of the banking sector.
Accordingly, in order to provide a big boost to developing "Apps" and bring out the innovations happening in the area of "Apps" which could be useful for the Indian Banking and Financial Sector, the Institute organised the first national level IDRBT Banking Application Contest (IBAC) on April 11, 2016.
The IDRBT Banking Application Contest (IBAC) aims to serve two key purposes:
The scope of the App is limited to the banking sector. The contest attracted the talented in the bankapp space with the contest receiving over 60 registrations from students, academicians, bankers, and individuals. The job of shortlisting was difficult, especially in terms of the quality of responses.
After a rigorous exercise, nine teams were shortlisted to demonstrate their Apps in front of an eminent jury. The jury comprising of Prof. R. K. Shyamasundar, Visiting Faculty, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Shri M. S. Raghavan, Former Chairman & Managing Director, IDBI Bank Ltd.; Shri Ajit Kumar Rath, Executive Director, Andhra Bank, adjudged apps based on the following four important characteristics –
First Prize of Rs. 60,000/-: Team Barodians consisting of Saurabh Shukla, Nilesh Kumar Mahant and D. Kranthi Reddy from Bank of Baroda for their App titled "M-Bank". M-Bank is a mobile-banking app which provides all the traditional features like like balance enquiry, mini statement, transfer of funds, bill payments, locate branches/ATMs or e-lobby, request for a new account opening, request for chequebook, stopping of cheques, blocking of cards, accessing of Demat account details, Forex and suggestions/feedbacks from the customers.
Second Prize of Rs. 45,000/-: Team Voice consisting of Malavika Rane, Daisy Antony and Akash Goel from Standard Chartered Bank for their App titled "Voice Mobile Application." This app enables visually impaired people to access basic banking facilities through the following functionalities - Balance enquiry, Last five transactions statement, Utility bill presentation, Transfer of funds, Request of funds from registered payee, Customer care.
Third Prize of Rs. 30,000/-: Team The South Indian Bank Limited consisting of Abin Koshy Cheriyan, Balu Thomas and Nayanan K from South Indian Bank Limited for their App titled "SIB Mobile – An End-to-End Mobile Banking Ecosystem." This App consists of a mobile banking application for customers, a smart bank tablet application powering branches, and a mobile POS application for merchants.
More details of these Apps can be had from the booklet on IBAC 2016, which was published on the occasion. The booklet consists of the details of the nine shortlisted entries and twenty-five other notable entries. The booklet is expected to provide a peek into the various Apps being developed across the country so that the banks and financial institutions can consider leveraging them to enhance the scope of their reach to customers and usher in more comfortable banking. The booklet may also serve as a guide for further development of apps by individuals, institutions, start-ups and other companies.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. A. S. Ramasastri, Director, IDRBT, highlighted the growing importance of apps as a crucial tool of quick service delivery and exhorted the banks to evaluate these applications, pick the good applications and use them since the main aim of the IBAC is to bring the best applications for consideration and use of the Indian Banking and Financial Sector. He also invited all the contestants to utilise the research and testing facilities in IDRBT so as to make their apps more robust.
The IBAC saw the participation of quite a few bankers, students, researchers and academicians. The contest was coordinated by Dr. Rajarshi Pal and Dr. N. Raghu Kisore, Faculty, IDRBT.