Mindoro-based Microfinance Maximum Savings Bank Inc., (MaxBank) and Dela O Rural Bank of Laguna recently formalized their partnership with iComputing Solutions Inc. (iCSI) for a cloud-based banking system poised to enhance the banks’ competitive advantage in view of the Asean Integration.
iCSI will implement the service through PT Sigma Cipta Caraka (Telkomsigma), a leading integrated end-to-end ICT Solutions company operating in Indonesia for nearly 30 years.
“This platform will not only enhance these firms’ core banking services. It will also allow them to provide safe and stable online services such as digital banking as well as use of credit and debit cards,” explains iCSI president and CEO Emmanuel Ramasola.
“The best part is they do not have to invest so much in setting up and implementing the system. A huge part of the expense is already considered a sunk cost in Indonesia,” he added.
Ramasola said their partnership comes at a time when rural banks or RBs in the country have continued to decrease in number and when a huge majority of people remain unbanked.
He noted that in 2016, about 20 RBs closed. This year, six rural banks have ceased operations owing to various factors, including their inability to meet the requirements of a highly regulated industry.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued Circular No 808 in 2013, providing the guidelines on Information Technology Risk Management for all banks and other BSP-supervised institutions. BSP allowed banks to use cloud computing when outsourcing their operations.
The National Institute of Standards Technology, which BSP cited, defined cloud computing as “a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
Ramasola said that for security reasons, the BSP guidelines recommend the use of private cloud computing like the Telkomsigma system. The service runs on the reliable IBM AS/400 system, which allows Telkomsigma to provide 24/7 support.
“Satu Cloud Computing has a long track record of reliability, allowing it to service almost 90 banks in Indonesia, with a network of some 800 branches. It is also ISO 270001-2005-compliant,” he adds.
While other suppliers have announced similar offerings, Ramasola explained that iCSI is the only one which has actually signed a partnership with local rural banks.
“Hopefully, our partnership with MaxBank and Dela O RB will encourage more rural banks to follow suit,” he said, adding that the system ensures the same benefits for banks operating in urban centers.
“We currently enjoy happy collaboration across the industry such as our long-standing partnership with BancNet and VISA. Our new tieup with iCSI and Telkomsigma is a welcome addition,” said MaxBank Chairman Mike Tsui.
“Once the ASEAN banking integration takes full effect, all banks must be backed by technology that will allow better banking solutions and financing services to a wider segment. This system levels the playing field for us Rbs.”
“This partnership allows small banks like us to enjoy huge savings as we need not invest millions to set up and maintain the IT infrastructure. It will also allow us to further enhance our services and expand our customer base both here, and eventually, abroad,” said MaxBank COO Ernie Raneses.
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