[sbinews] Bankers Discuss Pros & Cons Of Technology (Financial Express)

  • From: rspai@xxxxxxxx
  • To: sbinews@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 06:36:37 +0500

Bankers Discuss Pros & Cons Of Technology  
NEW DELHI, DEC 17:  Technology cannot supplant human element, it can only 
supplement human endeavour to reduce transaction time and also errors. This 
message came from a high-profile banking seminar which discussed technological 
issues for the future of the sector. 
“A branch manager will continue to play a crucial role even in future and ATMs 
will not diminish his importance”, opined Mr B D Narang, chairman of the 
Oriental Bank of Commerce. Increasing use of machines for doing mechanical work 
will give branch managers more time to personally attend to customers. 

Mr V Leeladhar, chairman and managing director of Union Bank of India, also 
said that technology had been helpful in streamlining back office operations. 
What is needed is to have strategic alliances for sharing ATMs and keeping the 
cost of technology low. 

Mr Survesh Swarup, consumer bank head, Citibank India, added, “advice on 
electronic mails may be good. But consumer still wants to discuss issues 
personally before making an important investment decision.” The seminar was 
jointly organised by CNBC TV18 and NCR on Tuesday. 

One of the challenges before the bankers, said Mr Narang, will be to generate 
enough business to feed the machines. “Technology changes faster than the 
willingness of the customers to adopt it”, he added. 

Mr Sudhakar Gande, managing director, Global Trust Bank, felt that one should 
undertake proper cost-benefit analysis before investing in technology. “It took 
four to five years for Internet banking to pick up”, he said. Consumers do take 
time to shake off initial inhibitions. “Sometimes, investments made in 
technology are too early”, said Mr Swarup.

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