RealTime IT News

IBM Contract With Indian Bank Will Facilitate E-C

IBM and the Reserve Bank of India have signed a contract to implement IBM's state-of-the-art check processing and clearing system at RBI's four national clearing centers (NCCs) in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta.

Industry sources maintain that the move is bound to facilitate online banking at a later stage and bring the nation closer to e-commerce.

The contract, one of the largest system integration and modernization exercises to be carried out in India, is to be executed by Tata IBM and IBM Global Services India, a joint venture between IBM and the Tatas.

The contract, signed last week in Mumbai, is worth Rs 100 crore (US$ 23.6 million) and expected to be completed in a phased manner by April next year.

Tata-IBM had teamed up with the US-based Arkansas Systems and BancTec, to bid for the estimated Rs 250 crore (US$8.8 million) MIRC (magnetic ink character recognition) check clearing system for banks, formulated by India's central bank - the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Three others were shortlisted by the RBI for this project -- HCL, HP and AT&T, sources said.

The MICR clearing centers ensure the automation of data gathering, transmission and storage. They provided a one-point solution to the banks which included software solutions, systems integration as well as the required hardware and software.

The US$500 million BancTec, one of the leading providers of electronic and document-based financial transaction processing systems, workflow and imaging products and applications software, had introduced its Universal Transport (UT) product line of high-speed transports in India, which could provide a complete array of grey scale imaging capabilities.

Arkansas Systems which is one of IBM's worldwide business partner for banking solutions provided its image solutions named Flexi-Check and Flexi-Remittance for the document processing systems.

Arkansas' plans for India include joint software development for banks in India along with Tata-IBM to develop e-commerce in India.

Arkansas focuses on the areas of item processing, retail banking systems, electronic fund transfer (EFT) network solutions and accounting software.

The current IBM check processing and clearing system would equip RBI to handle more than twice its current capacity, increased levels of system availability and security and replace the existing MICR processing system, which has performed for over a decade.

In addition, IBM would also introduce check imaging technology allowing the NCCs to speedily balance and reconcile their clearing house activities with minimum dependence on paper documents and help in fraud detection.

The managing director and CEO of Tata IBM and IBM Global Services India, Ranjit Limaye claimed that the system would ensure that nationalized banks go online in their next phase.

He termed it a landmark contract and one that would ensure the grassroots of e-commerce in the banking industry.