About a month back we wrote an article titled “Corporation Bank Net Banking System Goes for a toss?”.
Today I had visited the local Corporation Bank to resolve one of the issues that I was facing in the migration of my account from the earlier system to the new system. But the problem could not be resolved at the branch level and has been escalated to higher levels.
In the meantime, I also received a communication from one of the readers which reads as follows:
“I have two accounts in Corporation Bank ..one a SB account and also a current account , both of which I am not able to operate since 5 September , 2018 . I have been in touch with all the Senior Officers of the bank through mails ( including Chairman’s office , GM , IT and Omundsman .) Nothing has happened so far . And so I feel that the problem is much more serious than what we are all imagining …..The more serious thing is that they don’t even formally send response to your complaint . That again makes me feel that they are in a deeper pit ….. I was wondering if there a possibility of a class suit against them for deficiency of service ..”
My experience is similar and I had recently sent an e-mail to the head office as follows:
“For quite some time, I have been pointing out that your Internet Banking system for Corporate customers was not working properly. It was never fixed.
Now I see that you have migrated to some new system. I presume you have adopted Infosys Finacle. But you have created a faulty migration system …. I wonder if any body who knows Banking from the customer’s side were involved in the testing of the process….. ….Your helpline keeps ringing and there is not body attending it it at least at this point of time. They may come perhaps at 10.30 am ? like a branch? ….. I am not sure if you will respond to this e-mail either. Let me give it a try and see if at all you respond, how much time it may take and how you will respond.”
Root Cause of the Problem
But now after some searching over Internet it appears that the situation is a result of a management decision in the selection and implementation of the CBS system.
Initially, Corporation Bank was working with a CBS which was developed by Laser Soft Infotech, a Company promoted by Mr Suresh Kamat. After some time this company was taken over by Polaris and perhaps the next versions of the software were developed under Polaris by Mr Suresh Kamat’s team only.
About 2 years back, there was a major migration to another system when again there were problems. At that time, all accounts were given new numbers and for many days the RTGS/NEFT of customers got affected. Some times remittances were working only under the old number where as the cheques were to be deposited under the new number. The system could not automatically map the old number to the new number.
Now Corporation Bank has further migrated to the Finacle System of Infosys. It appears that there was a huge competition between TCS and Infosys for the contract. Then it appears that HP-Infosys combined team was leading the race. But later it appears that Corporation Bank has settled for implementation with Wipro. Hence the current Finacle implementation appears to be under Wipro’s implementation.
The perception in the public is that Infosys and Wipro are competitors and hence it appears surprising that the product division of Infosys has let bifurcation of the contract so that Wipro could win the implementation contract separately in competition from other vendors which might have included the Service division of Infosys itself.
In the industry it may be common to separate the product and implementation to two different companies. But when the product is a complicated system such as CBS and the implementation is done by a rival company, there will be conflicts of interest and potential for intended or unintended sabotage to adversely affect the brand reputation of the product supplier.
The problems which is seen in Corporation Bank could be arising because of lack of communication between the product supplier and the implementing company and the soundness of the decision taken by Corporation Bank to split the contract appears to be doubtful.
The impact of this decision is now being faced by the customers who are facing the “Denial of Access” to their accounts. It is possible that tomorrow the same issues will surface in the security aspects of its usage and lead to frauds like what happened in PNB. Then Wipro and Infosys would be trading charges at each other and pointing fingers.
While the management may justify the decision on the basis of cost, it is necessary for IT companies not to treat the customers of Banks as guinea pigs. If Finacle wants to own the brand, it should consider itself responsible for the brand reputation that is hurt by implementation. Perhaps Corporation Bank can clarify its customers what is the managerial control to ensure that the commercial rivalry between Infosys and Wipro does not affect the customer interests in this implementation exercise.
I wish Reserve Bank of India conducts an enquiry on the problems that are faced by Corporation Bank in its implementation and whether it is due to the lack of cooperation between the two IT giants of India.