(The role of technology in improving/impeding services quality,
in a banking and financial sector.)
In the five decades since independence, banking in India has evolved through four
distinct phases. During Fourth phase, also called as Reform Phase, Recommendations of
the Narasimham Committee (1991) paved the way for the reform phase in the banking.
Important initiatives with regard to the reform of the banking system were taken in this
phase. Important among these have been introduction of new accounting and prudential
norms relating to income recognition, provisioning and capital adequacy, deregulation of
interest rates & easing of norms for entry in the field of banking.
Entry of new banks resulted in a paradigm shift in the ways of banking in India. The
growing competition, growing expectations led to increased awareness amongst banks on
the role and importance of technology in banking. The arrival of foreign and private
banks with their superior state-of-the-art technology-based services pushed Indian Banks
also to follow suit by going in for the latest technologies so as to meet the threat of
competition and retain their customer base.
Indian banking industry, today is in the midst of an IT revolution. A combination of
regulatory and competitive reasons, have led to increasing importance of total banking
automation in the Indian Banking Industry.
ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
Information Technology has basically been used under two different avenues in Banking.
One is Communication and Connectivity and other is Business Process Reengineering.
Information technology enables sophisticated product development, better market
infrastructure, implementation of reliable techniques for control of risks and helps the
financial intermediaries to reach geographically distant and diversified markets.
In view of this, technology has changed the contours of three major functions performed
by banks, i.e., access to liquidity, transformation of assets and monitoring of risks.
Further, Information technology and the communication networking systems have a
crucial bearing on the efficiency of money, capital and foreign exchange markets.
Internet has significantly influenced delivery channels of the banks. Internet has emerged
as an important medium for delivery of banking products & services. Detailed guidelines
of RBI for Internet Banking has prepared the necessary ground for growth of Internet
Banking in India.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 has given legal recognition to creation, trans-
mission and retention of an electronic (or magnetic) data to be treated as valid proof in a
court of law, except in those areas, which continue to be governed by the provisions of
the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
As stated in RBI's Annual Monetary and Credit Policy 2002-2003: "To reap the full
benefits of such electronic message transfers, it is necessary that banks bestow sufficient
attention on the computerisation and networking of the branches situated at commercially
important centres on a time-bound basis. Intra-city and intra-bank networking would
facilitate in addressing the "last mile" problem which would in turn result in quick and
efficient funds transfers across the country".
ADVANTAGES OF TECHNOLOGY
1. From both customer and banking perspectives it shows that the Internet is a
convenience tool available whenever and wherever customers need it. It is also
found that the Internet has improved the factors in service quality like
responsiveness, communication and access. It is concluded that the Internet has an
important and positive effect on customer perceived banking services and the
service quality has been improved since the Internet has been used in banking
2. It's generally secure. But make sure that the website you're using has a valid
security certificate. This lets you know that the site is protected from cyber-thieves
looking to steal your personal and financial information.
3. It gives twenty-four-hour access. When the neighborhood bank closes, you can
still access your account and make transactions online. It's a very convenient
alternative for those that can't get to the bank during normal hours because of their
work schedule, health or any other reason.
4. It allows us to access our account from virtually anywhere. If we're on a business
trip or vacationing away from home, we can still keep a watchful on our money
and financial transactions – regardless of our location.
5. Conducting business online is generally faster than going to the bank. Long teller
lines can be time-consuming, especially on a Pay Day. But online, there are no
lines to contend with. You can access your account instantly and at your leisure.
6. Many features and services are typically available online. For example, with just a
few clicks you can apply for loans, check the progress of your investments, review
interest rates and gather other important information that may be spread out over
several different brochures in the local bank.
7. Technology has opened up new markets, new products, new services and efficient
delivery channels for the banking industry. Online electronics banking, mobile
banking and internet banking are just a few examples.
8. Information Technology has also provided banking industry with the wherewithal
to deal with the challenges the new economy poses. Information technology has
been the cornerstone of recent financial sector reforms aimed at increasing the
speed and reliability of financial operations and of initiatives to strengthen the
9. The IT revolution has set the stage for unprecedented increase in financial activity
across the globe. The progress of technology and the development of worldwide
networks have significantly reduced the cost and time of global funds transfer.
10. It is information technology which enables banks in meeting such high
expectations of the customers who are more demanding and are also more techno-
savvy compared to their counterparts of the yester years. They demand instant,
anytime and anywhere banking facilities.
11. IT has been providing solutions to banks to take care of their accounting and back
office requirements. This has, however, now given way to large scale usage in
services aimed at the customer of the banks.
12. IT also facilitates the introduction of new delivery channels--in the form of
Automated Teller Machines, Net Banking, Mobile Banking and the like.
13. Use of de-mat account and online trading enables a person to buy and sell shares
any time. The share trading companies and AMC’s can give improved and faster
service with help of technology.
14. There are many useful features and services available online besides for the usual
transactions. For example, you can apply for credit cards, manage investments,
and pay bills through your online account portal. You can also perform more
mundane tasks such as ordering new checks, requesting additional deposit slips, or
reporting a lost or stolen debit card.
Certainly the above mentioned advantages if technology have improved the quality of
service in a banking and financial sector.
TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS IN A BANKING SECTOR:
1. Net Banking
2. Credit Card Online
3. Instant Alerts
4. Mobile Banking
5. e-Monies Electronic Fund Transfer
6. Online Payment of Excise & Service Tax
7. Phone Banking
8. Bill Payment
10. Ticket Booking
11. Railway Ticket Booking through SMS
12. Prepaid Mobile Recharge
13. Smart Money Order
14. Card to Card Funds Transfer
15. Funds Transfer (eCheques)
16. Anywhere Banking
17. Internet Banking
18. Mobile Banking
19. Bank @ Home “Express Delivery”
DISADVANTAGES OF TECHNOLOGY
1. Yes, online banking is generally secure, but it certainly isn't always secure.
Identity theft is running rampant, and banks are by no means immune. And once
your information is compromised, it can take months or even years to correct the
damage, not to mention possibly costing you thousands of dollars, as well. This
generally does not happen in case of traditional method of banking.
2. Some online banks are more stable than others. Not all online setups are an
extension of a brick-and-mortar bank. Some operate completely in cyberspace,
without the benefit of a branch that you can actually visit if need be. With no way
to physically check out the operation, you must be sure to thoroughly do your
homework about the bank's background before giving them any of your money.
3. Before using a banking site that you aren't familiar with, check to make sure that
their deposits are FDIC-insured. If not, you could possibly lose all of your
deposits if the bank goes under, or its major shareholders decide to take an
extended vacation in Switzerland.
4. Customer service can be below the quality that you're used to. Some people
simply take comfort in being able to talk to another human being face-to-face if
they experience a problem. Although most major banks employ a dedicated
customer service department specifically for online users, going through the
dreaded telephone menu can still be quite irritating to many. Again, some are
considerably better (or worse) than others.
5. Not all online transactions are immediate. Online banking is subject to the same
business-day parameters as traditional banking. Therefore, printing out and
keeping receipts is still very important, even when banking online.
6. If your bank operates only online or simply does not have a branch office in your
local area, you will not be able to reach a representative in person for discussion of
account issues. Normally this is not a problem, but sometimes customer service by
telephone or email can be spotty and may prove to be more of a hassle if you have
a serious issue that is not easily resolved. Some banks are better than others in this
department, so you will need to do some research if this is an important
consideration for you.
7. Using online banking effectively requires some basic computer literacy and
familiarity with navigating the Internet. While this is not a problem for people like
me, those who are afflicted with technophobia or are simply inexperienced with
this particular genre may not be comfortable with this concept. There are also a
significant number of people who are suspicious of anything having to do with the
Internet because it is outside of their comfort zone. Others are simply too stubborn
to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills.