» Press Release 2006

Mobile banking to be a household phenomenon in 5 years: Sam Pitroda

Addressing the inaugural plenary session of the CII Banking Tech Summit 2006 today, Mr. Sam Pitroda, Founder and CEO, C-Sam Inc., emphasized that mobile banking presents a unique opportunity for Indian banks to leapfrog into the future.

“In the next five years, mobile banking is going to be a household phenomenon. For emerging markets, mobile banking will make more sense than adding bricks and buildings for offices. There is a need to change policy, be aggressive, and avoid duplicating effort. India has to innovate more,” he said.

Commenting on the Summit theme, ‘Banking on Technology for Increased Efficiency,’ Mr. Pitroda pointed out that with the Indian mobile phone market set to increase to 200 million, there would be more users than bank accounts. “You will eliminate a lot of paperwork, a lot of interface and also change the concept of money with mobile banking,” he added. He also urged the Indian Banking Community to revamp the large STD/ ISD/ PCO infrastructure that already exists in the country.

The Chief Guest at the Summit’s inaugural plenary session, Dr. R. B Burman, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India, underlined the need for intelligent information systems.

“Indian banking is an exciting place today and over the next few years, the mission is to provide safe, secure, sound and efficient payment systems in the country,” he pointed out.

Dr. Anil K Khandelwal, CMD, Bank of Baroda, provided the industry perspective. Technology presents several challenges like allocation of funds and restructuring the organization. If we are able to simultaneously look at different issues, technology can be a boon, catapulting Indian banking into the 21 st century,” he stressed.

Y M Deosthalee, CFO, Larsen & Toubro Ltd., spoke on ‘The Way Ahead in Banking – The User Perspective.’ “A one-stop shop concept is fast emerging as customers look at banks providing multiple services. ATMs have been the most successful delivery channel. Now we need to upgrade systems and bring them on line with banks abroad,” he said.

In his introductory remarks, Mr. Deepak Ghaisas, Chairman – Banking Tech Summit 2006 and CEO (India Operations), Chief Financial Officer, i-flex solutions Ltd., pointed out that advances in technology have dramatically changed the structure and nature of the Indian financial services sector and technology will continue to be a huge tool in coming years.

The two-day summit, a pioneering venture by CII, is being attended by senior leaders from the banking and technology industry.
16 January, 2006