We will provide debit /ATM card along with the welcome kit. In the existing scheme of things, the bank had to dispatch the PIN by courier/post to activate this card. Now, we propose to send the PIN over SBI Quick app. The customer would be required to download the app and send a missed call or SMS and in response we will despatch a onetime PIN to his mobile, with which he can activate the card. The delay is eliminated, the use of paper is eliminated and the whole process of despatching the PIN through snailmail is eliminated. In the past, it would take at least one week for a debit card or ATM card to get activated, but with green banking, it can be done the moment a person becomes a customer of the bank& receives Debit/ATM card,” says he.
Bhasin says the bank is planning to invest heavily on virtualization technologies for desktop client and server side. For better management of applications at branches and optimizing the bandwidth utilization by rich client applications, desktop virtualization technologies are being explored.The bank’s server side virtualization-based private cloud is called ‘Meghdoot’. The bank is leveraging cloud technologies for variety of financial applications ranging from non-critical system for business support services to loan origination systems, front office application of kiosk banking, which is used by 60,000 Customer Service Points (CSP), as well as SBI flagship wallet – Buddy. The bank is also exploring ways to leverage elasticity of public clouds for
test environments of various financial applications, communication solutions, CRM and other IT for IT support systems.
STABLE, ROBUST SERVICES
The bank has over the years built its entire technology infrastructure highly stable and robust. It has recently set up a hotsite for Core Banking System (CBS) to bring down the recovery time objective (RTO) to less than an hour, in the event of any CBS outage at the primary site. “As you know the implementation of BaNCS in the bank and the associate banks constitutes the largest centralized core system implementaion ever undertaken in the world. Today, there is network latency between the primary site and the DR sites for data replication. We have been able to reduce the recovery point objective (RPO) to near zero. There is virtually no data loss. Hot site is almost realtime replication of the CBS data. The network is so efficient between two sites that the network latency is less than 10 milliseconds. The hot site is like our production site and there is automatic failover in case of any glitches in production site. The maximum downtime for a switchover to hot site has now been reduced to 40 minutes with no data loss from 4 hours earlier to switch to DR. The downtime in case we have to switch to the DR site is 2 hours with virtually no data loss. The RPO as I said is zero,” says Bhasin. To have a better management of data center services, stability and robustness, the bank is envisioning to consolidate co-location data centers.
The bank periodically undertakes DR drills for failsafe/redundancy checks of its CBS and channel applications and infrastructure – the mobile/internet banking, ATMs/POS and contact center. Bhasin says earlier, the ATM down time used to be around 2.5 hours in the event of switch over to DR, which has now been successfully brought down to less than an hour. “We are working on to highly available internet/mobile banking architecture, which will have minimum
or no down time for these applications. Quarterly and half-yearly DR drills are performed for individual applications and entire data center. For channels like internet banking and ATMs, even one- hour outage can be quite bothersome for the customers and the bank is making initiatives to bring down the outage time in the event of switchover to DR and to minimize the impact,” says Bhasin.
“Mind you, we have some 2.5 crore internet banking customers and some 5 lakh log-ins are made in one hour on an average. The SBI internet banking site can well be described as Google of India in terms of number of log-ins. In these circumstances, it is imperative that we have a good response time too in order not to inconvenience the customers. We have been able to bring this down internet banking response time of transactions from an earlier 10-12 seconds to 5-7 seconds,” he elaborates.
Bhasin says in order to make the ATM channel efficient and productive, the bank is making investments in a domain name server (DNS) system. “With this, we hope to have complete control of the channel. We are able to remotely monitor the ATM availability status, set alerts, review transaction history and mitigate risks. The system becomes extremely complex when you have to manage 55,000 ATMs across the country with some 2000-3000 more planned to be added annually. It is our aim to have nil downtime for channel applications” says Bhasin.
Bank’s technology vision is to serve digital India with innovative digital services