HDFC Bank: IT’s a Matter of Money

SR Balasubramanian

HDFC Bank has made rapid strides in new age banking with its
spectrum of online banking and bill-paying channels. Started in 1995, HDFC bank
selected an architecture that could scale with its business and help it keep
pace with technology changes. The bank opted for a centralized architecture laid
out in the ‘hub-and-spokes’ model that branches out into its 140-odd
branches and networks over 400 ATMs. This has helped the bank roll out several
applications in the areas of retail banking, wholesale banking, credit card
management, cash management, and Internet banking.

Combined with the philosophy of outsourcing the non-core
areas of technology and retaining control over using technology as a strategic
tool has served the bank well. The entire retail banking business rests on iFlex’s
FinWare. The wholesale applications run on MicroBanker and are to be upgraded to
FlexCube soon.

Says HDFC VP-IT SR Balasubramanian, "Principally, there
are three areas of technology operations: customer service and operations,
application support, and facilities management". Of these, facilities
management is completely outsourced to a third-party. The IT department in turn,
has made service level agreements with the bank for ensuring business uptime.
The data centre is the hub of the operations with a collection of over 200
servers running OSs of every ilk- Tandem, OS/400, Solaris, Windows NT and
Windows 2000 amongst others, running databases on Oracle, Sybase, and SQL Server
and banking applications FinWare and MicroBanker. The entire systems set-up and
the network is system-managed using UnicenterTNG, which helps manage capacity
better, secure the infrastructure and maintain assets centrally. The bank has
integrated its own payment gateway with VISA and MasterCard. Plans are afoot for
setting up a disaster recovery center as well.

E-enabling of processes within the organization has also
helped the organization gain higher productivity. Processes like purchase, the
employee insurance scheme, employee stock option plan, and sales MIS have been

Sales MIS is particularly powerful – At the end of the
working day, direct sales agents all round the country log in their orders and
the bank is able to get a consolidated view of the transactions during the day.

ENET, the corporate banking Internet interface helps the
banks’ corporate customers view transactions, transfer funds between accounts,
seamlessly integrate with their ERP systems, and achieve closer control of their
banking transactions thus unlocking value from the financial value chain.
Internally, the bank uses a Notes-based system for mailing and workflow
applications to enhance productivity.

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