India’s cooperative banks emerge from technological dark ages
Monday, September 29, 2014
New Delhi: Urban banks adopted automation a long time back, linking their branches via core banking systems (CBS). Slowly, but surely, India’s cooperative banks are now emerging out of technological dark ages.
Large parts of the sector now tick with a CBS developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), the government’s web services organization, which has brought them to the technology mainstream. The NIC’s cooperative core banking solution(CCBS) works on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The software runs from a remote central server, which individual banks access for their purposes via Internet. NIC hosts the service, besides providing implementation support.
“E-governance and bridging the digital divide was largely restricted to urban areas or cities, but the people in rural areas were ignored. The business correspondents’ model also didn’t pick up the way it should have in the rural areas. This is our attempt to address some of the concerns around financial inclusion,” explains Shefali Dash, deputy director general of the NIC.
Apart from basic banking operations, the CCBS also integrates other services. It is designed to help agriculture societies disburse funds from various government schemes like the rural wage scheme, old age pensions or the mid-day meal scheme directly to beneficiaries’ accounts. The system can also monitor disbursements and update position of funds.