Government owned banks like SBI, PNB, Bank of Allahabad, Indian Bank are automating their rural branches and are offering IT companies a wide range of opportunities to aid them in doing that.
Leading IT service providers like Wipro, IBM, TCS and HCL are amongst a few in the queue to bag these contracts that amount to Rs. 2000 crore. These contracts are open over the next 18-24 months.
TCS which includes SBI and Indian Bank as its top clients has collaborated with them through joint ventures. The company said that it is implementing its managed service model a swell as the enterprise model in order to reach out to greater numer of rural banks.
Mr. Raghavan said that TCS was helping the customers in rural areas by offering branchless banking using smart cards, biometrics and hand-held devices. He said that the company was also considering providing rural banking and National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme on the same lines.
Andhra Pradesh Grameen Vikas Bank (APGVB) has recently approached IBM for its hardware platform in order to run its core banking application across 530 branches. HCL is also introducing ATMs in rural branches with a comparatively low transaction volume.
Smaller firms also want to cash in the rural banking opportunities. Recently Hughes communication announced that it had bagged a contract from SBI to deploy a network based satellite technology. Similarly other smaller firms also want to bag these contracts.