The face of the Indian financial sector is changing, which is well reflected in the offerings of banks in the country today. The sector is not only offering core-banking solutions to customers, but is also offering services that act as ‘wealth managers’. Experts believe that it is the cutting-edge technology solutions that are helping bankers and fund managers in making optimum use of available opportunities and resources.
The emergence of online banking is one such outcome of a technologically driven industry that India is today. E-commerce too has seen a lot of action in various sectors of India. At the India Finance Summit 2008 organised by NDTV Convergence, Sanjay Sharma, Managing Director & CEO, IDBI Intech, pointed out that e-commerce in the country was growing in areas like employement, travel and matrimonial, and that if the industry reached the 20 million broadband users by 2010, it was only a good sign for the e-commerce kickoff in a major way.
Though there are good signs for future growth, there are also several hurdles, as cited by experts from the industry. Lack of trust between trading partners, language barriers, inadequate bandwidth, low Internet penetration and absence of touch-and-feel shopping experience are some palpable roadblocks in the journey of e-commerce growth. Security is another big issue, which the banking industry today is looking at. “Solution lies in the problem itself. It is only technology that can bail us out of security problems,” opined experts from the banking industry.
While the banking industry is seen to be growing hard and fast with the entry of a few international banks in the recent past, it also worth noting that the per capita income of consumers in India is also constantly rising. According to Amitabh Chakraborty, President-Equity, Religare Securities Ltd, “Today, 380 million Indians have an annual household income of more than $10,000 per annum, and this figure is expected to grow over 500 million by 2010. This means that there is a constant increase of buying power in the economy, which is leading into increasing number of affluent Indians. All these things augur a promising future for Indian financial sector and the banking industry.”
With rising economy and influx of technology, the future for banking industry is promising. All it requires is a big leap in the direction of making an impact the world over. “The key lies in consolidation and inclusive growth,” said Arvind Kathpalia, Group Head-Operations Technology and Finance, Kotak Bank.