IDRBT Banking Technology Excellence Awards 2010-11

The Institute, with a view to infuse a spirit of healthy competition and accelerate the process of technology implementation and innovation among various banks in the country, instituted the IDRBT Banking Technology Excellence Awards in the year 2001.

These Awards from the Institute are meant to act as catalysts by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of banks aimed at better use of technology, greater levels of technology absorption, and improved levels of customer service and satisfaction through innovative use of technology.

The Awards are arrived at after a careful scrutiny and evaluation of the inputs called for from all the banks (both public and private) on a wide range of parameters by an eminent jury. Accordingly, these awards are the best indicators of efficient and effective technology implementation and innovation in the Indian Banking and Financial Sector.

IDRBT announced the Banking Technology Awards for the year 2010-11 [April 2010-March 2011] on August 04, 2011. Shri. Anand Sinha, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, and Chairman, IDRBT, presented the awards. Some of the key points made by Shri Anand Sinha are as under:

  • Banking, as all of us know, is an Industry that provides vital service and support to the economic and financial sectors. As such, it has to cater to all the diverse segments of society. However, more than 50 per cent of the adult population in our country is still excluded from the financial sector. It is not just people in the rural areas; many of the lower income categories of the urban population are also excluded from the banking fold. This is largely because of the way the supply of such services is organized. Our existing banking business model has done laudable work in some of the areas, but has not been able to adequately address these specific challenges. For instance, transaction costs of financial services to the poor are exceedingly large in comparison to their revenue generation potential in the short term. From the demand side too, there is financial illiteracy and the consequent fear of approaching formal institutions. With this huge chunk of our populace being deprived of basic economic facilitators, or alternatively seen, with this huge resource base remaining untapped, it would not be feasible to achieve our growth potential.
  • Technology has the potential to influence financial inclusion in a big way and help resolve many of the above problems. The use of technology in extending banking outreach is an area of contemporary focus in India. Thanks to the versatility of information technology, innovation is giving us the hope that new business models like Banking Correspondents (BCs), innovative payment devices, Unique Identification number allocation etc. will enable us to achieve financial inclusion, while addressing some of the cost and beneficiary identification issues.
  • Over the last few years, the mobile and wireless market has been one of the fastest growing in the world. Mobile phones have become an essential as well as conveniently available communication tool for almost every individual. Using this technology for funds transfers as well as retail payments holds a huge potential. As such, Mobile Banking is the hottest area of development in the banking sector and is expected to complement, and to an extent replace the credit/debit card system in future. While it has the potential to overcome issues relating to cost, infrastructure and resources; it does pose some new issues of its own. The main amongst these pertain to the dependence on service providers, network availability and security. It would also require deep appreciation of management aspects which relate not only to appropriate technology deployment and performance at backend but also to issues such as front end contact with the customer to provide necessary confidence and convenience. All these issues are receiving due attention for prioritized resolution.
  • Focus of Technology in Indian banking, so far, has, mainly, been on transaction processing, data storage, service delivery, and rightly so. These were our priorities to make banking better, convenient and more accessible. Now, that our banking has reached a stage where many of such services are running on tech enabled processes, we can look forward to improving other areas which were not, hitherto, focus of our attention, such as internal management processes and back end processes that have huge scope for improvement. Currently, while data storage and retrieval are on computerized systems, the administrative processes are largely manual warranting large resource deployment. This adds to costs, impacts efficiency and reduces effectiveness of internal controls. Further, in the existing models followed in many work areas in banks, data flows and reporting for MIS as well as external filings require manual interventions and multiple database access/ sourcing. This not only affects the timeliness of data submission but also the quality thereof. Errors in submitted data and, sometimes, subjective interpretations of data submission requirements lead to wrong decisions and, may be, serious consequences. RBI has taken the initiative in the form of automated data flow project, through which an attempt is being made to ensure that all banks start furnishing reports to RBI by means of straight through/ automated processes which do not require manual intervention. This will ensure that reporting is error free, direct from business data and timely.
  • The role of IDRBT in this long and interesting journey has been commendable. It has essayed, to perfection, its role as a service provider and also as a 'test bed' for research and development activities in the area of banking technology.

The awards, meant to recognise and honour the best and innovative use of information technology to enhance the levels of customer service and satisfaction, were presented in the following six categories:

  • Technologies for Financial Inclusion
  • Mobile Banking
  • Electronic Payment Systems
  • IT Implementation and Management
  • IT for Internal Effectiveness
  • Managing IT Risk

Both Public and Private Sector Banks submitted information for each category of award. The Institute received a record number of nominations aggregating to 158 this year. Banks were divided into two categories, large and small (those having less than Rs. 50,000 Crores of deposits) to ensure a level playing field.

The jury took into account the heterogeneities in the industry in terms of size, presence and level of operations while comparing the banks for each category of award.

An eminent jury consisting of Shri K. V. Kamath, Chairman, ICICI Bank, Dr. R. B. Barman, Former Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India; Prof. G. Sivakumar, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Dr. K. Ramakrishnan, Chief Executive, Indian Banks Association; and Prof. S. Sadagopan, Director, International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore; adjudged the banks. And the winners for the IDRBT Banking Technology Excellence Awards 2010-11 are:

Award Category Winner Received by Photos
Best Bank Award Among Large Banks for "Technologies for Financial Inclusion" Bank of India Shri Alok Kumar Misra, CMD
Best Bank Award Among Large Banks for "Mobile Banking" State Bank of India Shri R. Venkatachalam, DMD (IT)
Best Bank Award Among Large Banks for "Electronic Payment Systems" State Bank of India Shri R. Venkatachalam, DMD (IT)
Best Bank Award Among Large Banks for "IT Implementation and Management" HDFC Bank Ltd. Shri Paresh Sukthankar, ED
Best Bank Award Among Large Banks for "IT for Internal Effectiveness" Punjab National Bank Shri Ajay Mishra, GM (IT)
Best Bank Award Among Large Banks for "Managing IT Risk" ICICI Bank Ltd. Mr. Mukesh Kumar Jain, Senior General Manager, Technology
Best Bank Award Among Small Banks for "Mobile Banking" Karur Vysya Bank Shri K. Venkatraman, MD & CEO
Best Bank Award Among Small Banks for "Electronic Payment Systems" The Lakshmi Vilas Bank Shri P. R. Somasundaram, MD & CEO
Best Bank Award Among Small Banks for "IT Implementation and Management" The South Indian Bank Ltd. Dr. V. A. Joseph, MD
Best Bank Award Among Small Banks for "IT for Internal Effectiveness" The Federal Bank Ltd. Shri Shyam Srinivasan, MD & CEO
Best Bank Award Among Small Banks for "Managing IT Risk" Karnataka Bank Ltd. Shri P. Jayarama Bhat, MD & CEO