Although India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization has created quite a lot of hustle in everyone’s life, leading IT company TCS had a great back-up plan to help their banking customers comply with the announcement. On November 8, 2016 executives at TCS got on a conference call to discuss on the same.
Ravi Viswanathan, president of TCS, Growth Markets business, said,
'The first thing we did was to make a list of the top-five priorities that had to go into work right away. Then we had to put some work we were doing with the banks on hold, to make everyone focus on changing the back-end systems to put in things like withdrawal limits.”
Changes such as putting in withdrawal limit required only minimal efforts if it needs to be modified as it was configurable. But policies such as the marriage withdrawal limit required more efforts as the changes were not configurable.
TCS also had to reconfigure the machines carried by banking correspondents, who work in remote villages with no permanent bank branches.
The company is also working with some clients to ease the pain of their customers standing in long queues to withdraw money. TCS brought in almost 100 additional employees into its banking projects to help implement the changes. It also redirected its existing banking employees who were working on less important projects to focus on the amendment which is the need of the hour.
The company had clocked 1,000 person days of work in just the first 10-15 days since demonetisation was announced. But TCS is not alone in needing extra help to overcome this currency crunch. Bank employees have worked late nights and on weekends and, in some cases, retired workers have been brought back to manage the rush of work.
Going a step ahead, TCS also created a mobile app that pulled in the data from the core-banking systems helping the bank heads to understand the cash in and out flow of their accounts.
For this Viswanathan commented,
'Now they can see on an hourly, daily basis exactly what is happening with the money in their system. We could have done physical reports, but we thought we should make this digital. The digital platform took about a week to create, post demonetisation".
Various experts on IT systems at banks feel managing the back ends at banks is crucial in the current scenario.
Sanchit Vir Gogia, CEO of IT consultancy Greyhound Research said,
'No bank could have been prepared for this. And, unlike foreign banks, banks in India are yet to adopt a high level of automation. Some of the smaller banks do not have very sophisticated online banking systems. Even depositing notes in ATMs is a concern because the machines are old and there are concerns about security.”
With digitization spreading its tentacles across various domains, banking sector won’t be left behind. And TCS is all set to boost banks’ digital capabilities by adding functionality and creating an infrastructure to meet the demands that will follow.