India Post has gone live with its core banking platform in 200 post offices, piloting Infosys Finacle and a postal life insurance system based on Infosys McCamish platform.
This is the part of the end-to-end IT Modernization project 2012 programme by the Department of Posts to equip itself with modern tools and technologies.
Around 23,200 out of 155,000 post offices in India are to be migrated into the Core Banking Solution (CBS) by 2015.
Once all the post offices are live on the CBS, customers will be able to access their post office savings account anywhere in the country through multiple channels including internet browser, mobile and ATM.
C.N Raghupathi, head of Infosys’s India business, said there has been positive acceptance among end users with smooth implementation and adoption.
While the implementation is not affecting India Post staff, they do need some training on the usage and deployment of the new platform and solutions.
“There are two types of users for the software,” said Raghupathi. “One is the users from India Post and the second is the end users.” He said there are some pockets of resistance among users. “The resistance stems from the fact that this is a much more robust piece of software and has complexities which we are trying to work on through training. And for the India Post users, there is training that we have to do.”
“Also, most of the post offices are operated by people who are largely educated to only middle school level and who operate in some of the most remote areas of the country. Obviously, giving them a robust piece of software which is used by international banks and global insurance agencies requires a lot of training,” said Raghupathi.
India Post has post offices in 22 areas across India with one branch per 8,000 people for every 22 square kilometres. CBS, which went live in December, is already implemented in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam and Andhra Pradesh.
Additionally, the software for the ATM is ready and these ATMs have been installed in 100 post office banks. These ATMs will be replicated in 1,000 other locations across the country in the next few months and will be scaled up to 2,800 by 2,015.
“The next step is to roll it out to 2800 [Post Office] banks. We have to make sure this is done correctly and things work smoothly. This in itself will take the better part of the next one year,” said Raghupathi.
Raghupathi said that to enrich the mobile banking experience, the next stage would be to add mobility as a solution to take the banking system to people that can’t reach a bank. “That’s a different project in itself and the software for this is ready but India Post has to order the hardware, which is essentially handheld devices which will let the post man become a mobile banking correspondent.”